Understanding the collective dynamics of crowd movements during stressful emergency situations is central to reducing the risk of deadly crowd disasters. Yet, their systematic experimental study remains a challenging open problem due to ethical and methodological constraints.
Like many people, I believe that my personal opinions are the results of a careful, rational and independant thinking process. Well, like many people, I’m partly wrong…
Here we go! It’s Christmas again! And as usual, commercial streets, shops, and malls are getting totally crowded over the week-end.
Bad news? Not for everybody…For me, it’s the best moment to go fishing some data for my research.
Here is a short sample of what I got today: a very dense bidirectional flow of shoppers coming in and out of the Alexa center in Berlin. Admire the very nice formation of lanes! Unfortunately, I just recorded a few minutes of this before I was kicked out by the security guards of the mall. I tried to explain them that it was my job, but apparently I was too suspicious for them and had to stop the camera… Too bad!
Today, I would like to talk about my very first research project. I undertook it during the first year of my PhD thesis, at the University of Toulouse and at the ETH Zürich. The main question we addressed in this work is very simple: How do people avoid each other?
It is pretty surprising to notice that current research about pedestrian flows always assumes that people are lonely walkers.