A heuristic optimization based emergency evacuation simulation approach for a building and its surrounding environment
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In December 2004, an emergency evacuation simulation tool, VACATE was introduced. VACATE uses the heuristic optimization method of Particle Swarm Optimization as a foundation for agent movement. The main objective of this research is to expand upon VACATE and design a simulation package that continues to simulate agent actions and behaviors after they have evacuated the building. VACATE, like most other emergency evacuation simulation programs, solely simulates activities inside of the building. Simulating post building evacuation activities is important because building evacuees are not guaranteed safety once they are outside. In the process of adding an outdoor environment to VACATE many other improvements were made while maintaining the structure of using Particle Swarm Optimization as a basis for agent movement. In addition to new program features, agent movement, complexity, and realism have been greatly enhanced.