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The Need for Behavioral Theory in Evacuation Modeling



Erica D. Kuligowski, Steve M. Gwynne


This paper posits the need for comprehensive theories about human behavior in fire evacuations. These would be of value in and of themselves to improve training, education, and future data collection efforts, but would also allow for a complete behavioral representation to be embedded within simulation tools. This paper begins by discussing the current, separate statements or behavioral facts extracted from research on evacuations from building fires. Then, the paper discusses the methods used by current computer evacuation models to simulate these behavioral facts and the limitations of these methods. Last, the paper argues for the inclusion of behavioral theory in computer evacuation models, specifically by highlighting the benefits of behavioral theory for evacuation models and providing examples of social theories used to predict whether people will evacuate from disasters in communities.
Proceedings Title
Pedestrian Evacuation Dynamics 2008
Conference Dates
February 28-29, 2008
Conference Location
Wuppertal, GE


evacuation, egress, modeling, theory


Kuligowski, E. and Gwynne, S. (2010), The Need for Behavioral Theory in Evacuation Modeling, Pedestrian Evacuation Dynamics 2008, Wuppertal, GE, [online], (Accessed May 25, 2024)


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Created February 1, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017