Modeling framework for optimal evacuation of large-scale crowded pedestrian facilities

Ahmed Abdelghany*, Khaled Abdelghany, Hani Mahmassani, Wael Alhalabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The paper presents a simulation-optimization modeling framework for the evacuation of large-scale pedestrian facilities with multiple exit gates. The framework integrates a genetic algorithm (GA) and a microscopic pedestrian simulation-Assignment model. The GA searches for the optimal evacuation plan, while the simulation model guides the search through evaluating the quality of the generated evacuation plans. Evacuees are assumed to receive evacuation instructions in terms of the optimal exit gates and evacuation start times. The framework is applied to develop an optimal evacuation plan for a hypothetical crowded exhibition hall. The obtained results show that the model converges to a superior optimal evacuation plan within an acceptable number of iterations. In addition, the obtained evacuation plan outperforms conventional plans that implement nearest-gate immediate evacuation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1105-1118
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 16 2014


  • Cellular automata
  • Crowd dynamics
  • Evacuation
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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