THE APPLICATION OF VIRTUAL REALITY
ENVIRONMENTS TO EVACUATION MODELLING.
DAVID PAUL COONEY
A project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the
University of Greenwich for the degree of MSc by research
This dissertation describes the development of a virtual reality (VR)
interface for the evacuation model buildingEXODUS. The VR interface is intended to
represent the outcome of a buildingEXODUS simulation in three dimensions and makes use of
third party virtual reality authoring software. There were several stages involved in the
The first task was to investigate the current usage of VR in evacuation
modelling, comment on its effectiveness and then come up with a list of key elements that
should be included in a VR interface.
Then using these key elements as guide lines, a list of objectives was
prepared and the design of the interface was constructed. Also a data transfer layer was
designed so information concerning the evacuation could be extracted from the
buildingEXODUS simulation and then used to faithfully reproduce the simulation in 3D.
Next the design was implemented using the virtual reality software
package VRT by Superscape. This involved constructing 3D objects to represent the geometry
and occupants in the evacuation, then using these objects along with the information
extracted from buildingEXODUS the simulation was recreated, accurately showing the
position and movement of the geometry and occupants throughout the simulation.
Once the geometry and occupant movement had been recreated, the user
interface was implemented, giving the user full control of the playback of the simulation.
A set of useful tools was also added that gave the user the ability to change the
viewpoint, the speed of playback, the detail level of the occupants and record the
simulation in order to create an AVI.
Finally the vrEXODUS software passed a vigorous testing phase, which
included field testing and detailed comparisons between the vrEXODUS simulation and its
The vrEXODUS software is now available, distributed freely with the