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Optimizing stadium evacuation by integrating geocomputation and affordance theory

Joslyn Zale, PhD, Bandana Kar, PhD, David Cochran, PhD


Football is culturally and economically important in the United States, and football stadiums are part of the country's critical infrastructure, thus receiving government protection against hazard events. In this project, an agent-based evacuation model was implemented to optimize evacuation time from The University of Southern Mississippi's M.M. Roberts Stadium (football) by accounting for evacuees’ age, gender, physical fitness, alcohol consumption, and prior experience with hazard events. The findings revealed that (i) the age and gender of an individual impact his/her locomotion speed and (ii) evacuation route choice is influenced by evacuees’ perception of its safety and effectiveness. The estimated evacuation times for all evacuees to exit only the stadium and the stadium plus the surrounding campus were 20.82 and 165.01 minutes, respectively. Both of these times were shorter than the evacuation times determined by models employing location-unspecific locomotion speeds. One-way analysis of variance revealed that there were statistically significant differences between use of location-specific and location-unspecific within-stadium evacuation times (p ≤ 0.001 with α = 0.05). These results suggest that using local data is vital to accurately estimate evacuation time.


evacuation, agent-based model, GIS, hazard, stadium, network analysis, pedestrian evacuation, vehicular evacuation

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