Using pedestrian modelling to inform virus transmission mitigation policies: A novel activity scheduling model to enable virus transmission risk assessment in a restaurant environment

Martijn Sparnaaij*, Yufei Yuan, Winnie Daamen, Dorine C. Duives

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a large impact on the world. The virus spreads especially easily among people in indoor spaces such as restaurants. Hence, tools that can assess how different restaurant settings can impact the potential spread of an airborne virus and that can assess the effectiveness of mitigation policies are of high value. Microscopic pedestrian models provide the tools necessary to assess the detailed movements of people in a restaurant and with that the risk of virus transmission. This paper presents the application of a microscopic pedestrian model, including a novel activity choice and scheduling model, to assess virus transmission risks in restaurants. Simulation experiments identify that different factors impact virus transmission risks in a restaurant. Contacts between restaurant staff and customers are the driving factor for virus transmission in a restaurant whereby especially staff presents a big risk. Hence, mitigation policies focussing on these interactions and on preventing staff from transmitting the virus can be highly effective. The results also show that different restaurant layouts and setups lead to distinctly different transmission risks. Therefore, insights obtained from simulating one restaurant cannot be just transferred to any other restaurant. Together, these results show the added value of including pedestrian models in disease transmission risk modelling exercises to mitigate the impact of a pandemic caused by an airborne virus. However, the research also shows that, to better utilize the potential of pedestrian models for disease transmission risk modelling, future research of pedestrian activity scheduling behaviour in indoor spaces is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129395
Number of pages23
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume633
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Activity scheduling
  • COVID-19
  • Microscopic pedestrian model
  • Pedestrians
  • Restaurant operations
  • Virus transmission risks

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Using pedestrian modelling to inform virus transmission mitigation policies: A novel activity scheduling model to enable virus transmission risk assessment in a restaurant environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this