Self-Organizing Pedestrian Movement

  title={Self-Organizing Pedestrian Movement},
  author={Dirk Helbing and P{\'e}ter Moln{\'a}r and Ill{\'e}s J. Farkas and Kai Bolay},
  journal={Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design},
  pages={361 - 383}
Although pedestrians have individual preferences, aims, and destinations, the dynamics of pedestrian crowds is surprisingly predictable. Pedestrians can move freely only at small pedestrian densities. Otherwise their motion is affected by repulsive interactions with other pedestrians, giving rise to self-organization phenomena. Examples of the resulting patterns of motion are separate lanes of uniform walking direction in crowds of oppositely moving pedestrians or oscillations of the passing… 

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  • HelbingMolnár
  • Physics
    Physical review. E, Statistical physics, plasmas, fluids, and related interdisciplinary topics
  • 1995
It is suggested that the motion of pedestrians can be described as if they would be subject to ``social forces.'' These ``forces'' are not directly exerted by the pedestrians' personal environment,

Self-Organization Phenomena in Pedestrian Crowds

Pedestrian crowds can very realistically be simulated with a social force model which describes the different influences affecting individual pedestrian motion by a few simple force terms. The model

A mathematical model for the behavior of pedestrians

The movement of pedestrians is supposed to show certain regularities which can be best described by an “algorithm” for individual behavior and is easily simulated on computers. This behavior is

A Fluid-Dynamic Model for the Movement of Pedestrians

A fluid-dynamic description for the collective movement of pedestrians is developed on the basis of a Boltzmann-like gas-kinetic model that can be compared to real situations and possible applications to town- and traffic-planning are outlined.


Two specific pedestrian models are suggested, both of which hypothesize that time-distance is minimized, while one assumes that in the aggregate, choice at street intersections is equiprobable, and the other suggests that inThe aggregate, complete paths from an origin to a destination are equally likely.


models to observations of actual pedestrians walking under various windy conditions, Cohen and his colleagues demonstrated that empirical study can often result in generating more questions than