Control Theoretic Approaches to Computational Modeling and Risk Mitigation for Large Crowd Management

  • Mohammed Alrashed

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


We develop a computational framework for risk mitigation in high population density events. With increased global population, the frequency of high population density events is naturally increased. Therefore, risk-free crowd management plans are critical for efficient mobility, convenient daily life, resource management and most importantly mitigation of any inadvertent incidents and accidents such as stampedes. The status-quo for crowd management plans is the use of human experience/expert advice. However, most often such dependency on human experience is insufficient, flawed and results in inconvenience and tragic events. Motivated by these issues, we propose an agent-based mathematical model describing realistic human motion and simulating large dense crowds in a wide variety of events as a potential simulation testbed to trial crowd management plans. The developed model incorporates stylized mindset characteristics as an internal drive for physical behavior such as walking, running, and pushing. Furthermore, the model is combined with a visualisation of crowd movement. We develop analytic tools to quantify crowd dynamic features. The analytic tools will enable verification and validation to empirical evidence and surveillance video feed in both local and holistic representations of the crowd. This work addresses research problems in computational modeling of crowd dynamics, specifically: understanding and modeling the impact of a collective mindset on crowd dynamics versus mixtures of heterogeneous mindsets, the effect of social contagion of behaviors and decisions within the crowd, the competitive and aggressive pushing behaviors, and torso and steering dynamics.
Date of AwardNov 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorJeff Shamma (Supervisor)


  • Agent based models
  • Multiagent systems
  • computational models
  • Steering dynamics
  • Socio-Behavioural contagion
  • Pedestrian crowd simulation

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