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Artificial Intelligence
Climate Change
Off the Shelf
17-27 September 2020

Planning for the Next Great Flood

  • Climate Change
  • Sustainability

The project

We live in uncertain times. If you were caught in the middle of a severe flood, how would you react? Sheffield academics have created a simulator that can be used to estimate the human cost of such an event, predict reactions, and ultimately save lives.

Research student Mohammad Shirvani (Civil and Structural Engineering), worked with colleagues in the Department of Computer Science to build the simulator, which takes into account factors such as people’s height, age and body mass to predict their responses.

The simulator is capable of simulating the evacuation of dense crowds in small urban areas with purpose to better plan for future great floods. These videos are demos of what public can see at the venue where they can have a hands-on experience with the simulator we developed at the University of Sheffield.

Video #1: shows a dense population of people, men and women, evacuating from an imaginary shopping centre. The walls surrounding them are the shops where the flooding can happen between them. People are asked to evacuate the area immediately and this simulation shows how they probably move.

Video #2: It is the simulation of the evacuation of people outside the north stands of Sheffield Wednesday Stadium, using real topography data. The north entrances to the stadium are located on the South side of the image and flooding happens from the north side. Men and women are urged to evacuate that area towards the East side where it is assumed to be a dryer place to escape to.

Video #3: Is a closer look at Video #2 showing people, with different body height and weight, evacuating toward the safe area and the floodwater is propagating behind them.

The team

  • For more information about Mohammad Shirvani’s work, visit his research page
  • For more information about Dr Georges Kesserwani’s work, visit his staff page
  • For more information about Dr Paul Richmond’s work, visit his staff page

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