FSEG LOGO FIRE SAFETY ENGINEERING GROUP The Queen's Anniversary Prize 2002 The British Computer Society IT Awards 2001 The European IST Prize Winner 2003 The Guardian University Awards Winner 2014
The Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities

The Development Of a Scenario Independent Method for Evaluating the Evacuation Complexity of a Building

Hongjun Jiang



Over the past two decades, more than 30 evacuation models have been developed to reproduce people’s movement patterns in evacuation. However, evacuation models cannot assess whether one building is better than another in regards to evacuation wayfinding.

There exist techniques that attempt to compare different buildings for evacuation complexity. However, these graph measures are primarily used to measure the relative accessibility of different locations in a spatial system and were not generated for the purpose of comparing the complexity of different buildings. Currently only one method exists, Donegan’s method [DT98] [PD96] [DT99], which can be applied to compare building for evacuation ability. However, this technique is severely limited to specific building layouts and only considers connectivity.

Taking the Donegan’s method as a first step, this thesis extends this algorithm to obtain a new Distance Graph Method, which considers travel distance as well as being able to be applied to graphs with circuits. Then a further building complexity measures is presented, the Global Complexity (PAT) method. This is shown to be a valid measure which considers additional important factors such as wayfinding time, travel distance and the areas of compartments.

The Distance Graph Method and Global Complexity (PAT) methods are based on a room graph representation which does not have the descriptive power to describe the actual routes taken during the wayfinding process. To resolve this drawback a further method is presented which utilises a ‘route-based graph’ that has the ability to represent the real route that an evacuee will take during the wayfinding process.

Furthermore the Distance Graph Method and Global Complexity (PAT) methods assume a “worst state” calculation for the nodal information. This means for buildings with more than one exit these methods calculate a global building complexity according to a mathematical formula, which considers all exits separately. To address these problems, the final method, Complexity Time Measure, is presented, which is based around a number of wayfinding behaviour rules over a ‘route-based graph’ representation. This addresses the question: ‘If an occupant is positioned at a random location within a building, on average how long does the occupant need to spend to find an available exit?’ Hence, provides a means to compare complex buildings, with circuits, in relation to evacuation capability.  

Copyright © 2003- University of Greenwich | Privacy and cookies | Accessibility | Contact the Webmaster