On the effectiveness of multi-feature evacuation systems: an agent-based exploratory simulation study
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Evacuation modeling and simulation are usually used to explore different possibilities for evacuation, however, it is a real challenge to integrate different categories of characteristics in unified modeling space. In this paper, we propose an agent-based model of an evacuating crowd so that a comparative analysis of a different sets of parameters categorized as individual, social and technological aspects, is made possible. In particular, we focus on the question of rationality vs. emotionalism of individuals in a localized social context. In addition to that, we propose and model the concept of extended social influence, thereby embedding technological influence within the social influence, and analyze its impact on the efficiency of evacuation. NetLogo is used for simulating different variations in environments, evacuation strategies, and agents demographics. Simulation results revealed that there is no substantial advantage of informational overload on people, as this might work only in those situations, where there are fewer chances of herding. In more serious situations, people should be left alone to decide. They, however, could be trained in drills, to avoid panicking in such situations and concentrate on making their decisions solely based on the dynamics of their surroundings. It was also learned that distant connectivity has no apparent advantage and can be ruled out while designing an evacuation strategy based on these recommendations.