A Generalized Model of Crowd Behavior
for Law Enforcement Training Applications, 09-9066
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Denise C. Varner
John D. Micheletti
Inclusive Dates: 01/01/98 - Current
Background - For the last few years, SwRI has
modeled the effects of nonlethal weapons and munitions and has developed a computer-based
training system for the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. The training system has
evoked interest from the law enforcement community in adapting the same technology to meet
their requirements. In cooperation with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, SwRI
has modeled aspects of crowd behavior suitable for civil disturbance training.
Approach - The team reviewed the technical
literature on crowd and mob behavior from military, civilian law enforcement,
sociological, and historical sources and conducted structured interviews with experts in
those areas. From these data, SwRI developed a method of profiling psychological and
behavioral attributes of crowds and a second set of models that mimic activities and
techniques useful for controlling crowds.
Accomplishments - The SwRI-developed models
have been incorporated into a prototype computer-based simulation program called the
Commander's Interactive Training System, which is designed to train platoon commanders in
civil disorder management and tactics. Using a computer, an instructor can create initial
customized crowd behavior, actions, and movement within a three-dimensional-model town.
Trainees, in turn, allocate their personnel and resources prior to the start of an
exercise. While the exercise is running, the computer controls the behavior, activity, and
movement of the crowds based on trainee actions. Trainees can issue verbal commands,
instructions, and, when necessary, fire on the crowds with simulated lethal or
less-than-lethal munitions. All activity during a training exercise is recorded and can be
replayed at a later time for review and assessment purposes.
SwRI-developed program simulates crowd behavior in response
to trainee actions.
Advanced Computer and
Electronic Technology, and Automation Program
1999 IR&D Home