Monitoring the Number of Pedestrians in an Area: The Applicability of Counting Systems for Density State Estimation

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Crowd monitoring systems are more and more used to support crowd management organizations. Currently, counting systems are often used to provide quantitative insights into the pedestrian traffic state, since they are fairly easy to install and the accuracy is reasonably good under normal conditions. However, there are no sensor systems that are 100% accurate. Detection errors might have severe consequences for the density state estimation at large squares. The consequences of these errors for pedestrian state estimation have not yet been determined. This paper studies the impact of one specific type of detection error on the functionality of counting camera systems for density state estimation, namely, a randomly occurring "false negative" detection error. The impact is determined via two tracks, a theoretical track and a simulation track. The latter track studies the distribution of the cumulative number of pedestrians after 24 hours for three stylized cases by means of Monte Carlo simulations. This paper finds that counting camera systems, which have a detection error that is not correlated with the flow rate, provide a reasonably good estimation of the density within an area. At the same time, if the detection error is correlated with the flow rate, counting camera systems should only be used in the situation where symmetric demand patterns are expected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7328074
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Advanced Transportation
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2018


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