Nav: Home

Do large human crowds exhibit a collective behavior?

January 03, 2019

By observing the collective movement of thousands of Chicago Marathon runners queueing up to the starting line, researchers find that the motion of large crowds is fluid-like and mathematically predictable. According to the new study, the collective behavior of large crowds can be described solely using principals based in hydrodynamic theory by applying a fluid-like model to crowd dynamics. The findings suggest that the predictive power of hydrodynamic crowd modeling may provide quantitative guidance in crowd management - particularly important in situations where crowd dynamics can turn dangerous, like in a panic situation created by accidents or violence. Understanding the collective movements of animals has largely been based on complex interactions between individuals within the group - each with a set of "rules" and motivations that govern behavior. For humans, however, this agent-based approach is limited in its ability to describe the movement of crowds. Presenting a different approach, Nicolas Bain and Denis Bartolo ignore individual agents and instead treat the crowd as an entity itself in order to establish a hydrodynamic theory of large-scale human movement free of behavioral assumption. Bain and Bartolo observed the motion of runners moving slowly towards the starting corrals of the Chicago Marathon and then stopping as small groups began the race. With each movement, the authors identified waves in crowd density and velocity cascading from the front of the line. What's more, these waves traveled throughout the crowd at a constant speed. The dynamics were able to be predictively modeled in other races that the researchers evaluated, including in Paris and Atlanta. "The success of Bain and Bartolo's approach opens many avenues or future work for collective behavior researchers more generally," writes Nicholas Ouellette in a related Perspective. Ouellette says this work lays the foundation for an empirically grounded theory of group behavior.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Movement Articles:

What makes a reach movement effortful?
Scientists from the German Primate Center have determined which characteristics of an arm movement influence the subjective effort associated with this movement.
What makes a movement feel strenuous?
Scientists have determined which characteristics of an arm movement influence the subjective effort associated with this movement.
Locked movement in molecular motor and rotor
For a motor to power machinery, the local motion has to be translated into the ordered movement of other parts of the system.
Movement of early humans into the Indian subcontinent
Scientists in India have used a diffusion model to study the movement and merger of early humans into and in the Indian subcontinent starting from their initial location as determined by archaeologists.
A global movement championing science
Wiley, publishing partners engage to support science.
Predicting the movement and impacts of microplastic pollution
Microplastics, which are particles measuring less than 5 mm, are of increasing concern.
New medication significantly decreases involuntary movement
Once daily valbenazine significantly reduces involuntary movements such as lip smacking, tongue protrusions and excessive eye blinking for patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and mood disorder.
Unforeseen impacts of the fair trade movement
Fair trade certified coffee is the kind of phrase that sounds good on a Whole Foods shelf, merging first world affluence with third world resource.
New infusion therapy may help smooth out movement for patients with Parkinson's
Constant infusion of a drug now used intermittently to 'rescue' patients with Parkinson's from bouts of immobility may also help avoid these debilitating symptoms and smooth out their movement throughout the day, physician-scientists say.
Both accelerator and brake are required for normal movement
In order to drive a car, you need a good balance between accelerator and brake.

Related Movement Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".