This paper proposes a new method for pedestrian behaviour analysis in simulated urban environments. Our proposed software system analyses pedestrian behaviour with a combined focus on movement trajectories, walking speed and the angle between the movement vector and gaze vector of individuals in large groups of simulated pedestrians. The system learns a statistical model characterising normal behaviour, based on sample observations of regular pedestrian movements without the impact of significant visual attractions in the environment. Sudden changes of the pedestrians’ behavioural characteristics, caused by the visual detection of “attractive” objects, are considered as abnormal behaviour. The simulated environment, which is at the core of the research can be automatically generated using scanned line drawings of two-dimensional street maps or public spaces. In the simulation model a variety of scenarios can be defined and modified by altering different parameters. Using the example of Wheeler Place in Newcastle (Australia) our pilot experiments demonstrate how pedestrian behaviour characteristics can depend on selected abstract features in urban space. The purpose of the system is to support architects and urban designers to better assess the impact of pedestrian behaviour on planned urban spaces and streetscapes.
44th Annual Conference of the Australian and NZ Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA 2010). On the Edge: Conference Papers of the 44th Annual Conference of ANZAScA (Auckland, New Zealand 24-26 November, 2010)