An Analytical Approach to the Quantification of the Stop/Start Process in Pedestrian Flow

Hossein Tavana, Peter Thompson, K E Boyce, Hakan Frantzich, Daniel Nilsson, Denise McGrath

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


An important aspect of modelling crowd movement in congested spaces is the ability to characterize the reactions of, and interactions between, individuals in response to sudden changes in speed, stops or starting to walk. However, to date, the reactions to the stop/start walking process in relation to other pedestrians have not been characterized in experimental studies and have usually been manipulated in models. This paper presents novel experiments and describes a newly developed methodology to characterize the stopping process of an individual walker into their perception-reaction time and slow-down time, measure the stopping distance, and quantify the start-up time delay of consecutive pedestrians. The experiments were conducted at University College Dublin with sixteen participants using motion capture equipment to measure movement. The preliminary results suggest the mean perception-reaction time, slow-down time, and start-up time delay were 0.48 s, 0.58 s, and 0.39 s, respectively. The methodology developed in this study can be used in the future to: investigate pedestrians’ behaviour in response to changes in leaders’ speed quantify the reaction of individuals in different phases; and extract different times such as the required time to accelerate and adjust their pace.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 2023
Event102nd Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting - Convention Centre, Washington DC, United States
Duration: 8 Jan 202312 Jan 2023


Conference102nd Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titleTRBAM
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington DC
Internet address


  • Stopping Behaviour
  • Pedestrian Perception-reaction Time
  • Slow-down Time
  • Start-up Time Delay
  • Crowd movement
  • Pedestrian Behaviour


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