Validation of an Evacuation Model Currently Under Development
Current evacuation models have been found to have limitations either in the scope of their simulation, or the size of the scenario that can be simulated. A model currently under development called EvacuatioNZ was produced to address some of these limitations. EvacuatioNZ is a coarse network model that simulates the occupant movement times as well as the human behaviour before and during the evacuation process. It incorporates the Monte Carlo approach in producing probability distributions of evacuation times. This model is designed to allow the expansion or modification of the program as more knowledge on human behaviour and occupant emergency movement is obtained, without the need to reproduce the entire model. The main aim of this research was to assist in the development of this evacuation model by carrying out validation processes that tested the model's components. This would allow the model to be used with reasonable confidence by designers and fire engineers. Individual component testing on the model has shown that the basic components of movement are working satisfactorily, and are producing results that are comparable to values produced by the Nelson and MacLennan flow equations. Tests using a combination of components have also been found to produce representative results, when similar assumptions are being used. However, more components, including the behavioural components, should be tested before this model can be used for design purposes. The current version of the program still has some limitations that need to be addressed in order to increase its functional value. Further research should also include the model validation using more calculation examples, as well as data from actual trial evacuations to validate the components of human behaviour in the model.