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An early warning method for crush

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Fatal crush conditions occur in crowds with tragic frequency. Event organisers and architects are often criticised for failing to consider the causes and implications of crush, but the reality is that the prediction and mitigation of such conditions offers a significant technical challenge. Full treatment of physical force within crowd simulations is precise but computationally expensive; the more common method of human interpretation of results is computationally "cheap" but subjective and time-consuming. In this paper we propose an alternative method for the analysis of crowd behaviour, which uses information theory to measure crowd disorder. We show how this technique may be easily incorporated into an existing simulation framework, and validate it against an historical event. Our results show that this method offers an effective and efficient route towards automatic detection of crush.


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