This is a video simulation of MassMotion, the “most advanced crowd simulator” software on the market. After watching the demo, I noticed one glaring weakness the author doesn’t mention: Diversity. The software claims to “predict the movements of tens of thousands of individual personalities,” yet this demo lacks simulated movements from persons with disabilities (visible and assuming otherwise), children, and larger body types.
How many times have you been trapped behind at least one of these groups on an escalator? If you live in NYC and take the subway, this could almost be a daily occurrence. The pont is, the software doesn’t seem to account for “unpredictable” conditions such as these. Even in an office building where you assume no children are on a regular basis, it doesn’t mean that no children will ever occupy the space.
This leaves me with two questions: Is there room in the “world’s most advanced crowd simulator” to account for the “unpredictable” conditions of the real word? If so, can even the best software accurately predict human behavior?
Humans react in a seemingly irrational manner during emergency evacuations; sometimes, people even get trampled in the process. But what if architects and developers could predict how large crowds might move through their buildings in the event of an emergency—and then tweak the designs to ensure that everything runs smoothly? That’s the premise of MassMotion.