Simulating Occupant Response to Emergency Situations




Isenhour, Michelle Lynn

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When evaluating building evacuation processes, the inclusion of occupant response to emergency situations is essential in the overall assessment of the evacuation plan. Simulations which model the movement of people within buildings aid in the study of evacuation processes and are most often used to validate evacuation plans, optimize evacuation time, and identify any potential safety hazards. The accurate prediction of movement during a building evacuation depends greatly upon the actions and decisions individuals make at the start of the emergency. This dissertation employs a mathematical formulation which accounts for occupant behaviors during this pre-movement phase and implements a computational model to account for the situation dependent dynamic processes which determine the selection of route and exit from a building. The overall effect of these decisions and choices on the evacuation from a student center located at George Mason University (GMU) is presented.



Urban planning, Mathematics, Evacuation Modeling, Pedestrian Simulation, Pre-Evacuation Delay, Speed on Stairs, Validation, Verification