Author ORCID Identifier

Brian Ricks

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Visual Computer


In order to simulate virtual agents in the replica of a real facility across a long time span, a crowd simulation engine needs a list of agent arrival and destination locations and times that reflect those seen in the actual facility. Working together with a major metropolitan transportation authority, we propose a specification that can be used to procedurally generate this information. This specification is both uniquely compact and expressive—compact enough to mirror the mental model of building managers and expressive enough to handle the wide variety of crowds seen in real urban environments. We also propose a procedural algorithm for generating tens of thousands of high-level agent paths from this specification. This algorithm allows our specification to be used with traditional crowd simulation obstacle avoidance algorithms while still maintaining the realism required for the complex, real-world simulations of a transit facility. Our evaluation with industry professionals shows that our approach is intuitive and provides controls at the right level of detail to be used in large facilities (200,000+ people/day).


© The Author(s) 2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



Funded by the University of Nebraska at Omaha Open Access Fund