Microscopic dynamics at the Running of the Bulls (San Fermin Festival) in the context of the Social Force Model

FE Cornes and GA Frank and CO Dorso, SAFETY SCIENCE, 166, 106218 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2023.106218

This research explores the dynamics of the emergency evacuation during the "Running of the Bulls"festival (Spain, 2013). As people run to escape from danger, many pedestrians stumble and fall down, while others will try to pass over them. We carefully examined three specific recordings of the running, that show this kind of behavior. We developed a microscopic model mimicking the stumbling mechanism in the context of the Social Force Model (SFM). In our model, "moving"individuals can suddenly switch to a "fallen"state when they are in the vicinity of a fallen individual. We arrived to the conclusion that the presence of a fallen pedestrian increases dramatically the falling probability of the pedestrians nearby. Also, the product between the local density gradient and the velocity of each pedestrian appears as a relevant indicator for an imminent fall. We call this the pedestrian "falling susceptibility (fs)".

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