Organized Pedestrian Movement in Public Spaces

Preparation and Crisis Management of Urban Parades and Demonstration Marches with High Conflict Potential

Sub-project: Basic investigations on modelling and simulation of critical social behaviour during relocations and demonstrations

Prof. Dr. Gerta Köster
Computer Science and Mathematics, Department 07

Prof. Dr. Gerta Köster and her team simulate controversial social behaviour during relocations and demonstrations on the computer.

Very simple mechanisms like "keeping distance to the opponent" and "getting close to like-minded people" change the flow of a demonstration/movement fundamentally. In addition, parades and demonstrations move through the middle of our cities and are dynamic in time and place. This makes it particularly difficult to guarantee safety. At the same time, they are a cornerstone of our free society and must be protected.

In the OPMOPS project, Hochschule München develops simulation modules - as slim and fast as possible - which show the effects of conflict-prone behaviour on movement dynamics. This effect is also to be quantified through sensitivity studies, that is, systematic variation of the input parameters. The results will be incorporated as a module into a decision support system that will be developed together with the project partners - sociologists, lawyers, policemen, mathematicians and computer scientists from Germany and France.

Better planning is to replace prohibitions and preserve freedom - with the same level of security.

The research question the PhD student working in OPMOPS is asking is: How can the socially critical behaviour of opposing participants in parades and demonstrations be simulated realistically, so that those responsible for security can gather knowledge in a virtual world?

The research results are accessible to all via the open-source simulator VADERE developed at HM.

Running duration:
01.09.2017 - 31.08.2020, extended until 31.05.2021

Funded by:
Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Project Executing organisation:
VDI - Technology Centre GmbH, Düsseldorf

Project Partners:

  • Kaiserslautern University of Technology (network coordinator)
  • Police Rhineland-Palatinate, Police University, Police headquarters
  • virtualcitySYSTEMS GmbH, Berlin
  • German Research Institute for Public Administration Speyer
  • Université de Haute-Alsace, Mulhouse Cedex, France
  • INDRIA Rennes, Rennes, France
  • Centre de Recherche de l'École des Officiers de la Gendarmerie Nationale, Melun, France
  • ONHYS, Biot, France


Prof. Dr. Gerta Köster
Room: R 4.026

Tel.: 089 1265-3712
Fax: 089 1265-3780

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