NIST logo

Publication Citation: The Process of Verification and Validation of Building Fire Evacuation Models

NIST Authors in Bold

Author(s): Enrico Ronchi; Erica D. Kuligowski; Paul A. Reneke; Richard D. Peacock; Daniel Nilsson;
Title: The Process of Verification and Validation of Building Fire Evacuation Models
Published: November 21, 2013
Abstract: To date, there is no International standard on the methods and tests to assess the verification and validation (V&V) of building fire evacuation models, i.e., model testers adopt inconsistent procedures or tests designed for other model uses. For instance, the tests presented within the MSC/Circ.1238 Guidelines for evacuation analysis for new and existing passenger ships provided by the International Maritime Organization are often employed for the V&V of models outside their original context of use (building fires instead of maritime applications). This document discusses the main issues associated with the definition of a standard procedure for the V&V of building fire evacuation models. A review of the current procedures, tests (e.g. the MSC/Circ.1238 Guidelines), and methods available in the literature to assess the V&V of building evacuation models is provided. The capabilities of building evacuation models are evaluated studying their five main core components, namely 1) Pre-evacuation time, 2) Movement and Navigation, 3) Exit usage, 4) Route availability and 5) Flow constraints. A set of tests and recommendations about the verification of building evacuation models is proposed. Suggestions on simple qualitative validation tests are provided together with examples of experimental data-sets suitable for the analysis of different core components. The uncertainties associated with evacuation modelling are discussed. In particular, a method for the analysis of behavioural uncertainty (uncertainty due to the use of distributions or stochastic variables to simulate human behaviour in evacuation modelling) is presented. The method consists of a set of convergence criteria based on functional analysis. The last part of this document presents a discussion on the definition of the acceptance criteria for a standard V&V protocol.
Citation: NIST TN - 1822
Keywords: Evacuation; Modelling; Verification; Validation; Human behaviour in fire; Building fires
Research Areas: Building and Fire Research
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (1MB)