Anna-Katharina Raytarowski

Experiments on Human Clogging at Bottlenecks

In the field of pedestrian dynamics the flow through a bottleneck is one of the most basic problems. If the incoming flow through the bottleneck exceeds the capacity a congestion occurs and the density in front of the bottleneck increases. In case of a congestion pedestrians could cooperate or compete while entering the bottleneck. The competition is triggered by a reward which could be the survival in case of a threat or an uncritical but limited resource like a seat in a carrier or a good place at an event. Under high competition bottlenecks can be temporary blocked due to clogging, which might lead to injuries or even fatalities. To prevent those incidents, more information about the process of clogging and the way, people get injured, is needed. The results can then be used for improving computer simulations and adapt guidelines for buildings to increase the safety of people.

My research focuses on the process of clogging. Therefore, experiments with participants exiting through bottlenecks will be performed in different scenarios (e.g. varying door sizes) and with different levels of competitiveness (low and high motivation to exit). Cameras allow the extraction of individual trajectories to measure quantities such as flow, density and velocity. Systems consisting of inertial measurement units will capture the motion of single body parts, lateral movements, stumbling and rotation. Pressure sensors will measure the pressure between participants and between participants and the frame of the exit.

Project Duration: 2019-2022


Home University: The University of Wuppertal

Partner University: The University of Melbourne

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