Updates on what I’m reading. Links with my notes. I also just tweet links and things that interest me @dina
- Crowd dynamics: The wisdom of crowds | The Economist – Trying to capture every element of pedestrian movement in an equation is horribly complex, however. One problem is allowing for cultural biases, such as whether people step to the left or the right, or their willingness to get close to fellow pedestrians. An experiment in 2009 tested the walking speeds of Germans and Indians by getting volunteers in each country to walk in single file around an elliptical, makeshift corridor of ropes and chairs. At low densities the speeds of each nationality are similar; but once the numbers increase, Indians walk faster than Germans. This won’t be news to anyone familiar with Munich and Mumbai, but Indians are just less bothered about bumping into other people.
Another problem with assuming people act like particles is that up to 70% of people in a crowd are actually in groups. That matters, as anyone trying to get past shuffling tourists knows. It also leads to some lovely fine-scale choreography when small groups are squeezed. ….