Application of the Information Transfer Model to Evacuation Guidance and Agent-Based Simulation

Masaru Okaya, Tomoichi Takahashi


Reports on disasters such as the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack and the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing tsunami reveal important lessons on how to reduce human casualties. One key lesson is that evacuation announcements greatly influence human behavior during emergencies. In this paper, we will show that announcements are an effective method for guiding people affected by emergencies, and that there are various factors that influence how people evacuate, depending on warnings from authorities. The factors variously arise from each environment, local customs, and the specific personalities of those who commence the evacuations. We propose a model that shows how evacuation announcements are transferred and how they cause people to evacuate. The information transfer model is implemented in an agent-based system, as an agent communication function and through a Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) model. The communication function provides announcements from authorities to persons, while the BDI model represents human behavior during emergencies. Evacuation simulations from a five-story building reveal the effects of phased evacuations under conditions where noises disrupt evacuation guidance. The simulation results show that disseminating messages during emergencies is useful and supports effective evacuations plans.


evacuation guidance, evacuation simulation, information transfer model, human behavior

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