Date: June 20-24, 2016 Venue: Taipei, Shanghai, Seoul (Up&Coming 2016 Fall Issue)
Inviting Prof. Edwin R. Galea, who is an authority on the evacuation analysis, from The Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG), Greenwich University, FORUM8 held seminars about EXODUS and SMARTFIRE in Taipei, Shanghai, and Seoul from 20 to 24 June, 2016. EXODUS is a simulation and modeling software on crowd flow and evacuation analysis, SMARTFIRE is a simulation software on smoke and heat distribution by CFD, and both of them are researched and developed by Prof. Galea.

Prof. Galea introduced the latest features and case studies of EXODUS and SMARTFIRE to a total of 170 participants in 3 seminars, showing scenarios and experiment videos of evacuation simulation on the EXODUS interface. When simulating an evacuation to verify safety in the emergency escape, not only in-building factors within the basic outline of the building but also external factors must be considered in order to achieve the purpose of evacuating people to the outside. For example, he emphasized that the result of evacuation will change if bollards are installed outside of the 1st floor entrance to prevent suicide car bombing. He also explained that influential result can be extracted from several scenario analysis results of both of EXODUS simulation and experiment.

Moreover, he introduced the customization development of EXODUS and Unity 3D, and the latest progress of a project that utilizes the special-forces training system for fighting acts of airport terrors that EXODUS and SMARTFIRE are fused into high-quality mixed reality (MR) environment. In the seminar, FORUM8 presented the latest features of 3D VR software UC-win/Road Ver. 11, which can import evacuation analysis results from EXODUS and visualize the evacuation simulation in VR, by showing the product demonstration, scripts, and movies of linkage case studies between EXODUS and UC-win/Road such as VR simulation and disaster prevention solution.

A major construction company Siemens AG participated in the Taipei seminar. The company is designing T3 that will connect T1 and T2 in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport by H/W provider of CCTV camera in the airport. It explained the possibility of 3D modeling and evacuation simulation of airports owing to a introduction of UC-win/Road and EXODUS in the airport evacuation analysis with CCTV monitoring system. Prof. Galea commented that the information of the number of people in the airport is required for the accurate evacuation analysis. The collaboration between CCTV and EXODUS is expected.

At the Shanghai seminar, FORUM8 invited a guest lecturer from Civil Aviation University of China, and the evacuation by escalator was heatedly debated with Prof. Galea. For example, walking on an escalator reduces evacuation time by 30% than standing on the escalator because crowd density is lower. However, because evacuation time also depends on the exit space of escalator, how to evacuate effectively should be made up after considering a variety of building conditions including this, Prof. Galea advised.

At the Seoul seminar, a discussion about UrbanEXODUS supporting city-scale evacuation simulation was held, and Prof. Galea explained that it is required to consider evacuation distance as well as safety in the route when conducting a study about the shortest route. In addition, he also gave an explanation that the parameter "Familiarity" can be set for the EXODUS agent so that users can check effects in simulation such as the refuge time would be shorter in familiar environment.

FORUM8 has the right to sell EXODUS/SMARTFIRE in East Asia, and has sold it a lot in China and Korea. We are also planning to spread the linkage evacuation analysis solution between UC-win/Road and EXODUS/SMARTFIRE and meet customer demands also in Taiwan.

Seminar Reports