JDR Vol.19 No.2 pp. 379-385
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2024.p0379


Adaptive Formation by Pedestrian Small Groups During Egresses

Hisashi Murakami*,† ORCID Icon, Claudio Feliciani**,*** ORCID Icon, and Katsuhiro Nishinari**,*** ORCID Icon

*Faculty of Information and Human Science, Kyoto Institute of Technology
Matsugasakihashigami-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto 606-8585, Japan

Corresponding author

**Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

***Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

October 4, 2023
December 19, 2023
April 1, 2024
human crowd, pedestrian behavior, evacuation, social group

Human crowd behavior is an intriguing example of collective behavior where global dynamics emerge from interindividual interactions. Although most studies of human crowds assume that all individuals are independent, the presence and impact of social groups, such as friends or families, have recently been explored. Spatial structures resulting from group behavior and decision-making processes are key aspects of social groups, and how such structures are formed and the impact of these are largely unknown, especially in the scenario of crowd evacuations. Here we experimentally show that in the vicinity of exits, dyads and triads form a representative formation, which would attenuate a disadvantage of small groups that are typically regarded as moving obstacles toward the evacuation dynamics. In laboratory experiments on crowd evacuations regarding small group behavior, we first observed no noticeable differences of egress time between monads and groups, which is contrary to a naïve intuitiveness but in agreement with recent experimental observations. To resolve this contradiction, a detailed analysis focusing on behavior in front of exits suggests that group members constitute a straight-line structure vertical to the exit. Our findings offer a new perspective on how adaptive small group behavior emerges during crowd evacuation.

Cite this article as:
H. Murakami, C. Feliciani, and K. Nishinari, “Adaptive Formation by Pedestrian Small Groups During Egresses,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.19 No.2, pp. 379-385, 2024.
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Last updated on Jul. 12, 2024