Inferring Crowd Conditions from Pedestrians' Location Traces for Real-Time Crowd Monitoring during City-Scale Mass Gatherings

Martin Wirz; Tobias Franke; Daniel Roggen; Eve Mitleton-Kelly; Paul Lukowicz; Gerhard Troster

In: Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE 21st International Workshop on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises. IEEE International Workshops on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises (WETICE-2012), 21st, June 25-27, Toulouse, France, Pages 367-372, WETICE '12, ISBN 978-0-7695-4717-6, IEEE Computer Society, 2012.


There is a need for event organizers and emergency response personnel to detect emerging, potentially critical crowd situations at an early stage during city-wide mass gatherings. In this work, we introduce and describe mathematical methods based on pedestrian-behavior models to infer and visualize crowd conditions from pedestrians' GPS location traces. We tested our approach during the 2011 Lord Mayor's Show in London by deploying a system able to infer and visualize in real-time crowd density, crowd turbulence, crowd velocity and crowd pressure. To collection location updates from festival visitors, a mobile phone app that supplies the user with event-related information and periodically logs the device's location was distributed. We collected around four million location updates from over 800 visitors. The City of London Police consulted the crowd condition visualization to monitor the event. As an evaluation of the usefulness of our approach, we learned through interviews with police officers that our approach helps to assess occurring crowd conditions and to spot critical situations faster compared to the traditional video-based methods. With that, appropriate measure can be deployed quickly helping to resolve a critical situation at an early stage.

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Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence