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Combining Computational Fluid Dynamics and Agent- Based Modeling: A New Approach to Evacuation Planning. 

12/1/2011

Abstract

Objective

We introduce a novel hybrid of two fields-Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Agent-Based Modeling (ABM)-as a powerful new technique for urban evacuation planning. CFD is a predominant technique for modeling airborne transport of contaminants, while ABM is a powerful approach for modeling social dynamics in populations of adaptive individuals. The hybrid CFD-ABM method is capable of simulating how large, spatially-distributed populations might respond to a physically realistic contaminant plume. We demonstrate the overall feasibility of CFD-ABM evacuation design, using the case of a hypothetical aerosol release in Los Angeles to explore potential effectiveness of various policy regimes. We conclude by arguing that this new approach can be powerfully applied to arbitrary population centers, offering an unprecedented preparedness and catastrophic event response tool.

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Principal Investigator(s) and Researchers(s)

Joshua Epstein, Ph.D

Principal Investigator, PACER