Agent-based modelling of pedestrian responses during flood emergency: mobility behavioural rules and implications for flood risk analysis

04/22/2020
by   Mohammad Shirvani, et al.
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An agent-based model (ABM) for simulating flood-pedestrian interaction is augmented to particularly explore more realistic responses of evacuating pedestrians during flooding. Pedestrian agents within the ABM follow navigation rules of governing their movement in dry areas. When in floodwater, pedestrian agents are assigned extra behavioural rules to factor in their states of stability and walking speed, and their different body height and weight. The ABM is applied to replicate a synthetic test case of a flooded shopping centre, considering increasingly sophisticated configuration modes for the behavioural rules of the evacuating pedestrians. Simulation results are analysed based on spatial and temporal indicators informing on the dynamic variations of flood risk states of flooded pedestrians in terms of a commonly used flood Hazard Rating (HR) metric, variable walking speed, and instability due to toppling and/or sliding. Our analysis reveal significantly prolonged evacuation times and risk exposure levels as stability and walking speed behavioural rules become more sophisticated. It also allows to identify more conservative HR thresholds due to unstable pedestrians, and a new formula to directly estimate walking speed states as function of HR for stable pedestrian in floodwater. Accompanying details for software accessibility are provided.

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