Two-level modeling framework for pedestrian route choice and walking behaviors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A microscopic two-level simulation modeling framework is proposed to analyze both decision-making processes at a crosswalk as well as physical interactions among pedestrians when they cross a street. The model at the higher level is based on Decision Field Theory to represent the psychological preferences of pedestrians with respect to different route choice options during their deliberation process after evaluating current surroundings. At the lower level, physical interactions among pedestrians and consequent congestions are represented using a Cellular Automata model, in which pedestrians are allowed biased random-walking without back step towards their destination that has been given by the higher level model. A typical crosswalk with split sidewalks in the Chicago Loop area is employed as a case study, which has been implemented in AnyLogic® software. Weekday pedestrian counts on the 15-min basis near the studied crosswalk have been collected and used to construct and validate the simulation models. Experiments have been conducted to investigate the impact of corresponding environment parameters, such as pedestrian types and green/red phase length, as well as social parameters such as leadership in group decision making, on the average pedestrian waiting time at the crosswalk. Initial results look quite interesting. An extension on coupling the proposed pedestrian model with a transportation simulation model is also briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-46
Number of pages19
JournalSimulation Modelling Practice and Theory
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Cellular Automata
  • Extended Decision Field Theory
  • Hierarchical model
  • Pedestrian decision making
  • Urban traffic modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Hardware and Architecture


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