Patient and impatient pedestrians in a spatial game for egress congestion

Simo Heliövaara (Corresponding Author), Harri Ehtamo, Dirk Helbing, Timo Korhonen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    64 Citations (Scopus)


    Large crowds evacuating through narrow bottlenecks may create clogging and jams that slow down the egress flow. Especially if people try to push towards the exit, the so-called faster-is-slower effect may occur. We propose a spatial game to model the interaction of agents in such situations. Each agent has two possible modes of play that lead to either patient or impatient behavior. The payoffs of the game are derived from simple assumptions and correspond to a hawk-dove game, where the game parameters depend on the agent's location in the crowd and on external conditions. Equilibrium configurations are computed with a myopic best-response rule and studied in both a continuous space and a discrete lattice. We apply the game model to a continuous-time egress simulation, where the patient and impatient agents are given different individual parameter values, which are updated according to the local conditions in the crowd. The model shows how threatening conditions can increase the proportion of impatient agents, which leads to clogging and reduced flows through bottlenecks, even when smooth flows would be possible.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number012802
    JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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