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Cai, H, Rahman, A, Su, X and Zhang, H (2014) A GIS-microscopic simulation approach for optimizing road barrier placement and configuration in university campus emergency evacuation. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 5(04), 362-79.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: emergency evacuation; microscopic simulation; turn restriction; road barrier replacement
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-06-2012-0014
  • Abstract:
    Purpose – The purpose of this study is to create a framework that integrates GIS and microscopic simulation to optimize the placement of road barriers in emergency evacuation and assess the effectiveness via simulation. Human populations are at risk from many hazards including man-made and natural disasters, sudden events that are difficult to predict and prevent, but have catastrophic consequences. A critical issue in disaster management is timely evacuation that considers the dynamic traffic demand and congestions under dynamic hazard conditions. University campuses face a unique challenge in developing effective emergency evacuation plans due to their complex site configurations, high-dense buildings and dynamic spatial-temporal distribution of population. Design/methodology/approach – The framework was implemented and tested on the main campus of the Western Michigan University to optimize the placement and configuration of road barriers to achieve an effective utilization of road network when the demand way exceeds the capacity. The resulting system was also used to test the effectiveness of the phased evacuation notification strategy, both with and without the optimal road barrier strategy. Findings – It concluded that the newly created framework and its implementation could assist emergency evacuation planning for university campuses. It also concluded that placing road barriers at appropriate locations could reduce the evacuation time by 20 per cent or more under a variety of evacuation scenarios. Originality/value – The originality of this research lies in three aspects of: a university campus context, the integration of GIS and microscopic simulation in emergency evacuation and the simulation based turn restriction strategy.