8th International Conference on Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics (PED 2016) was held by the State Key Laboratory of Fire Science, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Hefei on October 17-20, 2016. The chairman of the organizing committee was Prof. Weiguo Song and vice chairmen were Dr. Jian Ma and Dr. Libi Fu.
The open ceremony was hosted by Prof.Weiguo Song. Prof. Yi Jiang, vice president of University of Science and Technology of China, delivered a welcome speech in the open ceremony. He presented the history and development of USTC, and declared the openning of PED2016.
In this conference, three keynote speeches entitled “Virtual urbanscape: recent advances, challenges & opportunities”, “Mobility modelling and real-time analysis of crowded and process-constrained environments such as cities, airports，hospitals and mass gatherings” and “Multidisciplinarity in pedestrian dynamics” were respectively delivered by Prof. Ming C. Lin from University of North Carolina, USA, Dr. Anders Johansson from University of Bristol, UK and Prof. Gerta Köster from Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany. These topics were analyzed deeply according to their own insights.
This year’s PED comprised of tutorials and conference presentations/posters.Tutorials for students were held for the first time before PED conference. It was proved that the tutorials had a positive effect on students. They helped participants to understand basic methods and tools on pedestrian dynamics. This is useful for communication with each other during the conference on October 18-20, 2016.
A total of 61 oral presentations and 31 posters were selected after peer review. 151 attendees from 19 countries, that was the largest number of participants in PEDs, attended PED2016. During the conference, the PED steering committee was established, in order to organize, coordinate and decide the host location of PEDs in the future. Prof. Weiguo Song was chosen as one of the four steering committee members.
The pedestrians on Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics (PED) is held every two years. It aims to present the latest research progress in pedestrian evacuation and offer a platform for researchers who are interested in crowd management to discuss and share knowledge. It also provides an opportunity for professionals and scientists with different backgrounds to discuss new findings and applications in the field of pedestrian and evacuation dynamics and associated human behavior. Some important topics are included, such as pedestrian movement mechanisms, pedestrian behavior during disasters: theories, analysis and conclusions, evacuation and pedestrian data collection from experiments and real events, data collection techniques, model development, large-scale and transport modeling methods, model validation/calibration, public transport transfer terminals, regional evacuation, operational management of highly populated facilities and engineering guidance.
PED2016 is the first time that the PED conference comes to a developing country. It will enhance China’s academic level in this field, improve academic communication and cooperation with other countries and promote the development of pedestrian and evacuation dynamics.