Seminar Series: Numerical Modeling of Pedestrian Motion, September 18, 2014

"Pedestrians," by Charlotte Gilhooly via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Seminar Series, Thursday, September 18, 2014 – 4:00pm

Location: CoRE Bldg, Room 431, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ

Title: Numerical Modeling of Pedestrian Motion


   Rainald Lohner, Center for Computational Fluid Dynamics, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

   Michelle Isenhour, Department of Mathematical Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY


The accurate prediction of pedestrian motion can be used to assess the potential safety hazards and operational performance at events where many individuals are gathered. Examples of such situations are transportation hubs, sport and music events, cinemas and theatres, museums, conference centers, places of pilgrimage and worship, as well as street demonstrations.  Evacuation from buildings, and even airplanes, ships or trains also represent cases where the prediction of pedestrian motion can be used advantageously.

Over the last decade, the authors have developed techniques to model numerically the motion of pedestrians. These models have been repeatedly validated against analytical solutions and experimental measurements, some of which involved up to a thousand pedestrians.

The talk will review the different options available to describe and predict the motion of pedestrians, then detail the model developed and validated by the authors, show some of the experimental campaigns carried out to date, and conclude with an outlook for the future in this rapidly developing field.

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