Scientists have created a program that simulates the panic of the crowd

Scientists have created a program that simulates the panic of the crowd

It will help planners to understand where there can be a crush and how to arrange the passages.

Scientists from ITMO University (Saint-Petersburg) with foreign colleagues have created a program that predicts crowd behavior, including in emergency situations. The algorithm, according to its authors, will help to prepare for any “freelance” situations during mass events, for example, to avoid the crush. Now the program is being tested on the flow of pilgrims, the largest religious festival in the world.

The staff of the Institute of intensive computer technology of the ITMO University together with the National Autonomous University of Mexico the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), mit (USA) and northeastern University in Boston (USA) has developed a program PULSE.

It allows you to simulate the crowd behavior and predict different scenarios. For example, what would happen if a fire or flood, if it is blocked by one of the outputs — the places most likely to crush.

The program allows you to optimize the location of objects that interact with the human flows, exits, fencing, a variety of sensors.

— The main objective of the program is to increase safety during global events, says one of the authors of the project, member of the Institute of intensive computer technology Vladislav karbovskii. — It is possible to predict, for example, what happens in case of panic where the potentially dangerous areas in case of a stampede, what would happen if one of the inputs will include lots of visitors.

The actions of individual people in the crowd predicts artificial intelligence. He was trained based on data set on mass events. Scientists are using video surveillance data with special bracelets that the surveys participants.

The program enters data about the simulated building or infrastructure facility, rules for the movement of people. The output — forecast of the dynamics of pedestrian flows. You can predict the scenario: “what if…”Vladislav Karbassiyoon Institute of intensive computer technology

.— The most difficult thing in the modeling of panic is to obtain experimental data about human behavior, about the likelihood of choice of different escape routes, says another author of the project, the engineer of Institute of intensive computer technology Daniel Voloshin.

Now the program is tested on the pilgrims of the Hindu festival Kumbh Mela-Meli (India).

It is the largest religious festival in the world. In 2007 it was attended by 70 million people, has become the largest gathering of people in history. At such events is not without incident. In 2003, a stampede killed 39 people, and, in 1954, 800 pilgrims.

Scientists using their algorithm to help the organizers of the Kumbh-Broke to prepare for contingencies. They have created a digital model of two Hindu temples, which are visited by pilgrims. The model, in particular, helps to understand how to avoid the crush, if it starts to rain and the human flow into the building.

The main producer of festival of fantasy, cinema and science “StarKON” Igor Pylaev believes that such algorithms can, with high probability to give the correct predictions. According to him, now computer programs when planning events is not used, all predict people on the basis of their own experience.

— At all events there is security, coordinators, volunteers, or somehow control the flow of people. Pre-projected flow as he goes where, how fast, — do organizers, the experience of previous events and based on estimated visitors. Conventionally, we know that will come here kids, here Teens, here are rockers, says Pylaev. — The interior Ministry and the security services have special training courses on the psychology of different groups and response to abnormal situations the crowd.

For each event it is necessary to calculate its own model, said the producer.

The behavior of different groups of people differ — students and fans of hard rock in the same situations will behave differently.

The project Manager of “House of supporters” at the Olympic games in Sochi in 2014 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Oleg Rumyantsev believes that the program will help to simulate the behavior of fans at future sporting events, e.g. football world Cup 2018.

Usually on preventing emergencies spent considerable funds, — said Rumyantsev. — The better designed of the event, the more comfortable will be the fans.