Towards Web3D-based Lightweight Crowd Evacuation Simulation
Abstract. The heterogeneity of the appearance and behavior of the crowd is an important component in a realistic simulation. Using Web3D technology to recreate a large-scale crowd of virtual avatars via the internet is an increasingly important area in crowd studies, especially for emergency crowd evacuation. One major issue in the early development of real-time simulation is the challenge of introducing diversity and authenticity on avatars’ appearance and behavior. Another major theoretical issue is high transmission delay on the network, which diminishes the simulation performed on the web browser when rendering a large number of visualization components. In this research, we propose a novel method to provide a lightweight solution that can simultaneously guarantee the realness and diversity of the simulated crowd. We use a parameterization technique based on shape space to distinguish the avatars’ appearance. Asynchronously transmitting the rendering elements helps to reduce bandwidth pressure. The multi-level clone instancing method can generate a massive amount of heterogeneous avatars in a short time. In the end, we validated our methods with an online experiment to demonstrate its ability to solve large-scale crowd simulation problems over the Internet.