Evaluating and optimizing level of service for crowd evacuations

Brandon Haworth, Muhammad Usman, Glen Berseth, Mubbasir Kapadia, Petros Faloutsos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations


Level of service (LoS) is a standard indicator, widely used in crowd management and urban design, for characterizing the service afforded by environments to crowds of specific densities. However, current LoS indicators are qualitative and rely on expert analysis. Computational approaches for crowd analysis and environment design require robust measures for characterizing the relationship between environments and crowd flow. In this paper, the flow-density relationships of environments optimized for flow under various LoS conditions are explored with respect to three state-of-the-art steering algorithms. We optimize environment elements to maximize crowd flow under a range of density conditions corresponding to common LoS categories. We perform an analysis of crowd flow under LoS conditions corresponding to the LoS optimized environments. We then perform an analysis of the crowd flow for these LoS optimized environments across LoS conditions. The steering algorithm, the number of optimized environment elements, the scenario configuration and the LoS conditions affect the optimal configuration of environment elements. We observe that the critical density of crowd simulators can increase, or shift LoS, due to the optimal placement of pillars. Depending on the steering model and environment benchmark, pillars are configured to produce lanes or form wall-like structures, in an effort to maximize crowd flow. These experiments serve as a precursor to environment optimization and crowd management motivating the need for further study using real and synthetic crowd datasets across a larger representation of environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games, MIG 2015
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450339919
StatePublished - Nov 16 2015
Event8th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games, MIG 2015 - Paris, France
Duration: Nov 16 2015Nov 18 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 8th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games, MIG 2015


Other8th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games, MIG 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • Crowd evacuation
  • Crowd simulation
  • Environment optimization
  • Level of service
  • Steering algorithms


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