Agent-based models of social behaviour and communication in evacuations: A systematic review

Anne Templeton*, Hui Xie, Steve Gwynne, Aoife Hunt, Peter Thompson, Gerta Köster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperPreprint

Abstract / Description of output

Most modern agent-based evacuation models involve interactions between evacuees. However, the assumed reasons for interactions and portrayal of them may be overly simple. Research from social psychology suggests that people interact and communicate with one another when evacuating and evacuee response is impacted by the way information is communicated. Thus, we conducted a systematic review of agent-based evacuation models to identify 1) how social interactions and communication approaches between agents are
simulated, and 2) what key variables related to evacuation are addressed in these models. We searched Web of Science and ScienceDirect to identify articles that simulated information exchange between agents during evacuations, and social behaviour during evacuations. From the final 70 included articles, we categorised eight types of social interaction that increased in social complexity from collision avoidance to social influence based on strength of social connections with other agents. In the 17 models which simulated communication, we categorised four ways that agents communicate information: spatially through information trails or radii around agents, via social networks and via external communication. Finally, the variables either manipulated or measured in the models were categorised into the following groups: environmental condition, personal attributes of the agents, procedure, and source of information. We discuss promising directions for agent-based evacuation models to capture the effects of communication and group dynamics on evacuee behaviour. Moreover, we demonstrate how communication
and group dynamics may impact the variables commonly used in agent-based evacuation models.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages51
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • evacuation
  • agent-based models
  • emergency communication
  • group processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Agent-based models of social behaviour and communication in evacuations: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this