Incorporation of personal communication devices in multi-environment particle swarm optimization based evacuation simulation
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In the spring of 2006 two emergency evacuation simulation tools, Vacate and Vacate-Out, were developed that enhanced a previous version of the Vacate program. These programs use the heuristic method of Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) to introduce a novel stochastic method to emergency simulations. The Vacate and Vacate-Out programs differ in many aspects, the main one being that Vacate focuses on evacuation of buildings while Vacate-Out focuses on evacuation of outdoor environments. The research in this thesis is two part. The first part of the research blends the building and outdoor environment programs together into one seamless program. This blended program keeps all of the attributes of the unique modifications to the PSO method from each program and also allows the individual’s traits to be passed between the different environment’s PSO methods. The second part of the research focuses on incorporating personal communication devices into the evacuations. Cellular phones, cameras and internet enabled devices cause a flow of information to and from the user which affects the user’s movements. This change in movement of the user will in turn affect the movements of the people around them, hence affecting the entire evacuation. The research results in an evacuation simulation program that includes both building and outdoor environments and incorporates the use of personal communication devices.