Validation ensures that the software represents reality at a satisfying confidence level by comparing simulation results with real-life observation. A simulation software is only as good as the underlying algorithm that is implemented.
SimWalk simulation software is continuously validated through validation projects, tests and comparisons with real-world data in order to deliver an accurate tool for the analysis of pedestrian flows. Together with leading researchers, we update the algorithm on an ongoing basis.
In reality, pedestrian counter flows naturally build structures of interaction that allow to test the accurateness of the implemented simulation algorithm. Pedestrians flows separate based on direction and walking speeds. If the walking speed is not too high, they smoothly move along each other to the other side of the crossing. A pedestrian algorithm has to replicate this behavior.
Automatic line formation of pedestrians in passages and other environments is one of the key validation metrics. If the algorithm is correctly adjusted, the line formation of pedestrians arises automatically, without any preprogramming in the software. Lines form naturally based on individual behaviors and the given constraints by the environment.
Macroscopic and microscopic verification of the SimWalk pedestrian algorithm parameters. Steiner, Philipp, Schmid: Paper presented at the 7th Swiss Transport Research Conference, Monte Verita, Ascona (pdf).
A real-world evacuation exercise in a football stadium in Pennsylvania, USA, assured the accurateness of previous SimWalk simulation results. The simulated evacuation time range could be validated through the exercise (pdf) .
The simulation results gathered with SimWalk during Hajj, the largest pilgrimage event in Mecca, could be validated by observation and measuring of circulation times and traveling distances. SimWalk provided accurate results(pdf) .