Safety at Sea’s pedestrian dynamics tool EVI™ is used by several universities worldwide as part of their teaching and research. The University of Trieste is one such university that has worked with us for many years and has kindly provided us with the following paper for your interest.
The paper compares the IMO ‘simplified’ and the ‘advanced’ methodologies for the approval of passenger vessel designs, as well as different software tools. In short, the ‘simplified’ analysis can be performed, manually, by representing rooms and corridors as tanks and pipes in a hydraulic network. The ‘advanced’ methodology is, instead, a full pedestrian dynamic simulation using the topology of the vessel design and simulating passengers and crew in their evacuation. The paper also compares two different software solutions, one of which is Safety at Sea’s software tool EVI™. This is therefore a comparison of different software methodologies for evacuating pedestrians: a grid-based methodology versus a ‘semi-continuous space’ methodology which EVI™ uses.
An interesting and thought-provoking conclusion of the paper, which we agree with, is that although all methodologies provide the necessary evidence for approval, the pedestrian dynamics simulation can provide more usable information which can be used to improve your design. One such example is the ability to identify areas of congestion easily and visually, which can then be used to create a better design. This makes pedestrian dynamics software a design tool embedded in the design spiral. A second, important, conclusion was the fact that the simplified methodology seemed to be significantly less conservative than the advanced methodology, although the cause of this was not investigated in the paper.
Safety at Sea’s in-house evacuation expert, Yasmine Hifi, has written a parallel article on the same subject matter which goes into more depth on the difference in methodologies (originally published in the Naval Architect and available here).