|Ph.D Student||Schaumann Davide|
|Subject||An Event-Based Model for Simulating Human Behavior Patterns|
in Not Yet Built Environments
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Yehuda Kalay|
One of the most important challenges in architectural design is to predict and evaluate the mutual relationship between a building design and the behavior of its occupants. This is a complex task due to the dynamic, stochastic, and context-dependent nature of human behavior.
At present, architects mostly rely on their own intuition and knowledge gleaned from past experiences and Post Occupancy Evaluations (POE). Simulation methods have been proposed to enable such analysis prior to a building construction and occupation. These methods, however, suffer from the following limitations. First, they often model occupancy in a highly aggregated form, abstracting away the impact of dynamic spatial and social factors on occupant behavior. Second, they mainly consider individual behaviors, disregarding shared activities. Third, they focus on specific building use scenarios (e.g. emergency egresses), failing to represent day-to-day human behavior patterns.
To address these limitations, we propose an event-based model for simulating and visualizing representative day-to-day human behavior patterns in (not-yet) built environments. This model differs from other multi-agent models (e.g., the agent-based model), whereby decision-making abilities are stored within the agents themselves. In the event-based model, the decision-making authority is stored in event entities, which direct the collaborative behavior of a group of actors to perform an activity in a given space. As such, events afford a combination of top-down coordination and bottom-up adaptations to spatial and social contingencies (e.g., when some of the resources needed to complete the task are unavailable). An event manager determines which events to execute at any given time, based on a dynamic priority value associated with each event. It uses a centralized scheduling strategy to dynamically allocate resources (e.g., actors, spaces, and equipment) to the most urgent events, thereby resolving conflicts among events competing for the same resources at a given time.
The proposed method involves: (a) developing the event-based model and its constituent elements (namely the actors, spaces, activities, events, and event manager) and (b) applying the model to simulate use scenarios in (not-yet) built environment to anticipate the consequences that a building design produces on how a building operates.
Hospitals have been chosen as test beds for this approach. Despite their complexity of operations, behavior is driven by a set of codified collaborative procedures that affect (and are affected by) spatial and social factors (e.g., the building layout and actors’ interactions). Furthermore, hospital design is driven by efficiency considerations. Performance criteria can thus be measured and used for comparative multi-criteria evaluations.
The event-based simulation of use scenarios offers a promising framework for design stakeholders to make more informed decisions by systematically scrutinizing, discussing, and improving their understanding of how the design of physical settings may affect the way buildings will be used in the future.