Assessing crowd management strategies for the 2010 Love Parade disaster using computer simulations and virtual reality

Hantao Zhao, Tyler Thrash, Mubbasir Kapadia, Katja Wolff, Christoph Hölscher, Dirk Helbing, Victor R Schinazi

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Abstract

Dense crowds in public spaces have often caused serious security issues at large events. In this paper, we study the 2010 Love Parade disaster, for which a large amount of data (e.g. research papers, professional reports and video footage) exist. We reproduce the Love Parade disaster in a three-dimensional computer simulation calibrated with data from the actual event and using the social force model for pedestrian behaviour. Moreover, we simulate several crowd management strategies and investigate their ability to prevent the disaster. We evaluate these strategies in virtual reality (VR) by measuring the response and arousal of participants while experiencing the simulated event from a festival attendee's perspective. Overall, we find that opening an additional exit and removing the police cordons could have significantly reduced the number of casualties. We also find that this strategy affects the physiological responses of the participants in VR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20200116
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Volume17
Issue number167
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

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