Pedestrian Flow Scaling Through a Bottleneck
New England Complex Systems Institute
Last modified: June 29, 2007
In this paper we investigate the collective dynamical behavior of pedestrians as they exit through a bottleneck. The scaling of the average pedestrian flux J is determined as a function of the desired walking speed v0 and exit door width w using a generalized force model. Two distinct scaling regimes are identified; a free-flow regime corresponding to exit dynamics where pedestrian-pedestrian interactions are minimal and frictional effects are small or negligible, and a saturated flow regime where significant pedestrian clogging at the exit is observed. In the former regime the pedestrian flux J scales proportional to exit speed v0 while in the latter regime J is found to be proportional to a quadratic power of exit door width. The implications for building fire safety design are discussed.