Going Through, Going Around: A Study on Individual Avoidance of Groups

Julien Bruneau 1 Anne-Hélène Olivier 1 Julien Pettré 1
1 MIMETIC - Analysis-Synthesis Approach for Virtual Human Simulation
IRISA-D6 - MEDIA ET INTERACTIONS, Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique , UR2 - Université de Rennes 2
Abstract : When avoiding a group, a walker has two possibilities: either he goes through it or around it. Going through very dense groups or around huge ones would not seem natural and could break any sense of presence in a virtual environment. This paper aims to enable crowd simulators to handle such situations correctly. To this end, we need to understand how real humans decide to go through or around groups. As a first hypothesis, we apply the Principle of Minimum Energy (PME) on different group sizes and density. According to this principle, a walker should go around small and dense groups whereas he should go through large and sparse groups. Such principle has already been used for crowd simulation; the novelty here is to apply it to decide on a global avoidance strategy instead of local adaptations only. Our study quantifies decision thresholds. However, PME leaves some inconclusive situations for which the two solutions paths have similar energetic costs. In a second part, we propose an experiment to corroborate PME decisions thresholds with real observations. As controlling the factors of an experiment with many people is extremely hard, we propose to use Virtual Reality as a new method to observe human behavior. This work represents the first crowd simulation algorithm component directly designed from a VR-based study. We also consider the role of secondary factors in inconclusive situations. We show the influence of the group appearance and direction of relative motion in the decision process. Finally, we draw some guidelines to integrate our conclusions to existing crowd simulators and show an example of such integration. We evaluate the achieved improvements.
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Julien Bruneau, Anne-Hélène Olivier, Julien Pettré. Going Through, Going Around: A Study on Individual Avoidance of Groups. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2015, 21 (4), pp.9. ⟨10.1109/TVCG.2015.2391862⟩. ⟨hal-01149960⟩

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