Séminaire PMMH - Alexandre Nicolas (U. Lyon 1)

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22 avril 11:00 » 12:00 — Salle réunion PMMH 1

Physical modelling of pedestrian dynamics : Make your way through the crowd !

Physics has constantly been pushing back its boundaries, so much so that active systems of biological interest have come under its scrutiny in the past decades. At present, among its outermost interfaces, research into the dynamics of pedestrian crowds aspires to provide physical insight into issues of major socio-economic importance : How to best dimension and arrange public facilities ? Can tragic stampedes at mass gatherings be prevented ?
After a brief overview of my research interests, I will expose some recently unveiled but robust features [1-3] of the dynamics of crowds that bolster a physical approach. Then, I will argue that a new line of models, in which interactions depend on an anticipated time to collision [4] rather than on distance, may offer greater promises than more traditional models for the description of these systems and open up new avenues in the study of collective motion in active assemblies. Our recent successes in reproducing a variety of empirical observations with this approach will be detailed, along with some salient discrepancies with respect to more classical physical systems.

[1] A. Nicolas, M. Kuperman, S. Ibanez, et al. Mechanical response of dense pedestrian crowds to the crossing of intruders. Scientific reports, (2019)
[2] I. Echeverria-Huarte, A. Nicolas, R. Hidalgo, A. Garcimartin, I Zuriguel, Spontaneous emergence of counterclockwise vortex motion in assemblies of pedestrians roaming within an enclosure, Scientific Reports (2022)
[3] T. Bonnemain et al. Pedestrians in static crowds are not grains, but game players. arXiv preprint arXiv:2201.08592. (2022)
[4] I. Karamouzas, B. Skinner and S. J. Guy. Universal power law governing pedestrian interactions. Physical review letters, 113, (2014)

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