Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Xiaolin Hu


Pedestrian crowd simulation explores crowd behaviors in virtual environments. It is extensively studied in many areas, such as safety and civil engineering, transportation, social science, entertainment industry and so on. As a common phenomenon in pedestrian crowds, grouping can play important roles in crowd behaviors. To achieve more realistic simulations, it is important to support group modeling in crowd behaviors. Nevertheless, group modeling is still an open and challenging problem. The influence of groups on the dynamics of crowd movement has not been incorporated into most existing crowd models because of the complexity nature of social groups. This research develops a framework for group modeling in agent-based pedestrian crowd simulations. The framework includes multiple layers that support a systematic approach for modeling social groups in pedestrian crowd simulations. These layers include a simulation engine layer that provides efficient simulation engines to simulate the crowd model; a behavior-based agent modeling layers that supports developing agent models using the developed BehaviorSim simulation software; a group modeling layer that provides a well-defined way to model inter-group relationships and intra-group connections among pedestrian agents in a crowd; and finally a context modeling layer that allows users to incorporate various social and psychological models into the study of social groups in pedestrian crowd. Each layer utilizes the layer below it to fulfill its functionality, and together these layers provide an integrated framework for supporting group modeling in pedestrian crowd simulations. To our knowledge this work is the first one to focus on a systematic group modeling approach for pedestrian crowd simulations. This systematic modeling approach allows users to create social group simulation models in a well-defined way for studying the effect of social and psychological factors on crowd’s grouping behavior. To demonstrate the capability of the group modeling framework, we developed an application of dynamic grouping for pedestrian crowd simulations.