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Simulation of the Pedestrian Flow in the Tawaf Area Using the Social Force Model

Authors: Zarita Zainuddin, Kumatha Thinakaran, Mohammed Shuaib


In today-s modern world, the number of vehicles is increasing on the road. This causes more people to choose walking instead of traveling using vehicles. Thus, proper planning of pedestrians- paths is important to ensure the safety of pedestrians in a walking area. Crowd dynamics study the pedestrians- behavior and modeling pedestrians- movement to ensure safety in their walking paths. To date, many models have been designed to ease pedestrians- movement. The Social Force Model is widely used among researchers as it is simpler and provides better simulation results. We will discuss the problem regarding the ritual of circumambulating the Ka-aba (Tawaf) where the entrances to this area are usually congested which worsens during the Hajj season. We will use the computer simulation model SimWalk which is based on the Social Force Model to simulate the movement of pilgrims in the Tawaf area. We will first discuss the effect of uni and bi-directional flows at the gates. We will then restrict certain gates to the area as the entrances only and others as exits only. From the simulations, we will study the effect of the distance of other entrances from the beginning line and their effects on the duration of pilgrims circumambulate Ka-aba. We will distribute the pilgrims at the different entrances evenly so that the congestion at the entrances can be reduced. We would also discuss the various locations and designs of barriers at the exits and its effect on the time taken for the pilgrims to exit the Tawaf area.

Keywords: circumambulation, Ka'aba, pedestrian flow, SFM, Tawaf , entrance, exit

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