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On Not Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Design Enables the Prediction of Decisions about Movement in Buildings.


pdf icon On Not Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Design Enables the Prediction of Decisions about Movement in Buildings. (78 K)
Groner, N. E.

NIST SP 1032; January 2005.

Workshop on Building Occupant Movement During Fire Emergencies. Proceedings. Session 4.6. June 10-11, 2004, Gaithersburg, MD, Peacock, R. D.; Kuligowski, E. D., Editor(s)(s), 96-98 pp, 2005.

Keywords:

occupants; people movement; emergencies; decision making; human beings; human response; human behavior

Abstract:

Our principle obstacle to predicting building movement is not movement, it is our ability to predict human decision making about when, where and how to move during building emergencies. However, we will be unable to predict decision making as long as we fail to engineer systems that provide the information that building occupants need to make adaptive decisions. We need to get on with the business of learning how to design these systems that provide an informational cognitive task environment without first waiting for the creation of validated predictive models. In my view, we are in good shape as regards the optimized physical movement of people. This is not to say that models of physical movement can't be improved. There is an acute need to acquire better data to refine and validate these models. However, we are in poor shape as regards modeling the decision-making processes that determine when people start to move, and how they decide by what means that will try to reach what safe destination. I would like to address the issue of how we might go about designing for and modeling decision making.