Applications to prioritize indoor routes for emergency situations in a complex built facility have been restricted to building simulations and network approaches. These types of applications often failed to account for the complexity and trade-offs needed to select the optimal indoor path during an emergency situation. In this article, we propose a step change for finding the optimal routes for Search And Rescue (SAR) teams in a building, where a multi-epicentre extreme event is occurring. We have developed an algorithm that is based on a novel approach integrating the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), statistical characteristics, the propagation of hazard, Duckham-Kulik’s adapted algorithm, Dijkstra's classical algorithm, and the binary search with three criteria: hazard proximity, distance/travel time, and route complexity. The sub-criteria for the route complexity are validated in the context of SAR using a real-life building (Doha World Trade Centre). The important feature of the algorithm is its ability to generate an optimal route depending on user’s needs. The findings revealed that the generated optimal routes are indeed the ‘best’ trade-off amongst distance/travel time, hazard proximity and route complexity. The test results also demonstrated the robustness of the algorithm with respect to different parameters, and its insensitivity to different scenarios of uncontrolled evacuation.
Zverovich, V., Mahdjoubi, L., Boguslawski, P., & Fadli, F. (2017). Analytic prioritization of indoor routes for search and rescue operations in hazardous environments. Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, 32(9), 727-747. https://doi.org/10.1111/mice.12260