This title appears in the Scientific Report : 2014 

Human responses to multiple sources of directional information in virtual crowd evacuations
Bode, N. W. F. (Corresponding author)
Kemloh Wagoum, A. U. / Codling, E. A.
Jülich Supercomputing Center; JSC
Interface, 11 (2014) 91, S. 20130904
London The Royal Society 2014
24258157
10.1098/rsif.2013.0904
Journal Article
Computational Science and Mathematical Methods
Please use the identifier: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2013.0904 in citations.
The evacuation of crowds from buildings or vehicles is one example thathighlights the importance of understanding how individual-level interactionsand decision-making combine and lead to the overall behaviour ofcrowds. In particular, to make evacuations safer, we need to understandhow individuals make movement decisions in crowds. Here, we present anevacuation experiment with over 500 participants testing individual behaviourin an interactive virtual environment. Participants had to choose between differentexit routes under the influence of three different types of directionalinformation: static information (signs), dynamic information (movement ofsimulated crowd) and memorized information, as well as the combined effectof these different sources of directional information. In contrast to signs,crowd movement and memorized information did not have a significanteffect on human exit route choice in isolation. However, when we combinedthe latter two treatments with additional directly conflicting sources of directionalinformation, for example signs, they showed a clear effect by reducingthe number of participants that followed the opposing directional information.This suggests that the signals participants observe more closely in isolation donot simply overrule alternative sources of directional information. Age andgender did not consistently explain differences in behaviour in our experiments.