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Space Syntax Based Agent Simulation

Penn, Alan; Turner, Alasdair; (2002) Space Syntax Based Agent Simulation. In: Schreckenberg, Michael and Sharma, Som Deo, (eds.) Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics. (pp. 99-114). Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Germany. Green open access

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Space syntax derives from a set of analytic measures of configuration that have been shown to correlate well with how people move through and use buildings and urban environments. Space syntax represents the open space of an environment in terms of the intervisibility of points in space. The measures are thus purely configurational, and take no account of attractors, nor do they make any assumptions about origins and destinations or path planning. Space syntax has found that, despite many proposed higher-level cognitive models, there appears to be a fundamental process that informs human and social usage of an environment. In this paper we describe an exosomatic visual architecture, based on space syntax visibility graphs, giving many agents simultaneous access to the same pre-processed information about the configuration of a space layout. Results of experiments in a simulated retail environment show that a surprisingly simple 'random next step' based rule outperforms a more complex 'destination based' rule in reproducing observed human movement behaviour. We conclude that the effects of spatial configuration on movement patterns that space syntax studies have found are consistent with a model of individual decision behaviour based on the spatial affordances offered by the morphology of the local visual field.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Space Syntax Based Agent Simulation
ISBN: 3540426906
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.springer.de
Language: English
Keywords: space syntax, urban environment, pedestrian movement
UCL classification:
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/75
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