DBES: The Distributed Building Evacuation Simulator

Developped as part of the UK EPSRC Project ALADDIN (2005-2010), in collaboration with BAE Systems Ltd.

We have developed a distributed simulation tool which addresses the unique needs for the simulation of emergency response scenarios. The simulation tool adopts the multi-agent paradigm and provides mechanisms for the interaction of the entities that are being simulated. It operates in a distributed fashion to reduce the simulation time required for such large scale systems. The simulation tool represents both the individuals that need to be evacuated, the resources that contribute to the evacuation including human rescuers, and other active resources and entities which may include robots, and which can autonomously interact with the environment and with each other and take individual or collaborative decisions. An extensive description of the Distributed Building Evacuation Simulator (DBES) can be found here. The following videos demonstrate a few of the emergency scenarios that we have evaluated using the DBES.

Scenario 1: Evacuation of a shopping mall

In this scenario civilians have to evacuate an area although there is not an ongoing hazard (such as a fire) present. This corresponds to a case were there is a threat present in the area, such as an explosive device, and the occupants have to evacuate to avoid unnecessary risks. There are three main exits in the area: one in the east part, one in the west part and one in the south part. Civilians are initially positioned in various locations inside the area. When the evacuation phase starts, the goal of each civilian is to exit the area via one of the three exits.

Scenario 2: Evacuation of a three storey building

This scenario involves the evacuation of a three storey building. The dashed lines represent the staircases along which the evacuees can move from one floor to another. There are two exits located on the ground floor, while a fire starts in the second floor of the building. The arrows represent the directions that an evacuee receives from a Decision Node which is located in its vicinity. Each civilian decides its next destination based on this recommendation. A detailed analysis of the decision support system used in this scenario is described here.