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Design, evaluation and optimization of the evacuation problem of multi-story facilities

Yiqing Wen, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Given a multi-story facility, the problem is how to design its evacuation system so that, when an emergency occurs, it will take the minimal clearance time to evacuate the occupant population from the facility. This research formulates the design problem of an evacuation planning system of a multi-story facility on a rectilinear metric and presents an approach to its solution based on a tri-partite series of optimization and stochastic models.^ In order to find the optimal locations of stairwells on each floor, a heuristic for equi-area partitioning for rectilinear simple polygons is developed. The facility evacuation system is studied as a state dependent stochastic model, and a simulation program based on this model is used to evaluate the efficiency of the evacuation system. This research also addresses the problem of how to optimally determine the width of the stairwells with the objective of obtaining the minimal clearance time of the evacuation.^ Finally, a case study is conducted based on a real world problem - the evaluation of the evacuation process of the New York International Gift Fair held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. The problem is modeled with the state dependent stochastic model; and an evacuation is conducted and suggested solutions for improvement are recommended.^

Subject Area

Operations research

Recommended Citation

Wen, Yiqing, "Design, evaluation and optimization of the evacuation problem of multi-story facilities" (2008). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3315483.