Exit choice decisions during pedestrian evacuations of buildings

Dorine Duives*, Hani Mahmassani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


This paper assesses how exit choice behavior influences the total egress behavior of a crowd during building evacuation. A discrete choice model is proposed to represent pedestrian exit choice decisions during evacuation. The proposed model is based on responses to an Internet questionnaire conducted in the Netherlands and the United States. The results of the Internet questionnaire, consisting of 20 choice experiments by 100 respondents making trade-offs between distance, angular deviation, and group following behavior, are used to estimate a multinomial logit model. Accordingly, a new pedestrian simulation approach that uses a microscopic cellular automata model (EvacPed) is presented. Three levels of decision making are incorporated: global exit choice, regional adaptive route choice, and local operative behavior. Simulations estimate the difference in evacuation time between four exit choice strategies: least distance path, least travel time path, discrete choice incorporating hive knowledge, and discrete choice incorporating vision field. The results suggest that group following behavior has a large impact on the effectiveness of building evacuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-94
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2316
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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