Parallel simulation of complex evacuation scenarios with adaptive agent models

Dan Chen, Lizhe Wang, Albert Y. Zomaya, Ming Gang Dou, Jingying Chen, Ze Deng, Salim Hariri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Simulation study on evacuation scenarios has gained tremendous attention in recent years. Two major research challenges remain along this direction: (1) how to portray the effect of individuals' adaptive behaviors under various situations in the evacuation procedures and (2) how to simulate complex evacuation scenarios involving huge crowds at the individual level due to the ultrahigh complexity of these scenarios. In this study, a simulation framework for general evacuation scenarios has been developed. Each individual in the scenario is modeled as an adaptable and autonomous agent driven by a weight-based decision-making mechanism. The simulation is intended to characterize the individuals' adaptable behaviors, the interactions among individuals, among small groups of individuals, and between the individuals and the environment. To handle the second challenge, this study adopts GPGPU to sustain massively parallel modeling and simulation of an evacuation scenario. An efficient scheme has been proposed to minimize the overhead to access the global system state of the simulation process maintained by the GPU platform. The simulation results indicate that the 'adaptability' in individual behaviors has a significant influence on the evacuation procedure. The experimental results also exhibit the proposed approach's capability to sustain complex scenarios involving a huge crowd consisting of tens of thousands of individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6774442
Pages (from-to)847-857
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Adaptive agents
  • crowd behavior
  • evacuation
  • general-purpose computation on graphics processing units
  • parallel modeling and simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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