July 2, 2010 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) today announced the release of MAICE Station™ Version 3.0, the robust crowd modeling software platform that offers unique individual and crowd behavior analysis capabilities.
The program is available for licensing by interested parties. SwRI recently delivered MAICE Station Version 3.0 to two military clients.
MAICE Station, which stands for Modeling of Aggregates of Individual and Crowd Environments, allows law enforcement, military and event management personnel to analyze, model and research the effects of the behaviors of hundreds or even thousands of individuals in a potentially volatile crowd.
Earlier tools model crowds as single entities, but MAICE Station models the unique behavior of individual members and their roles in the crowd. In MAICE Station, individuals make independent decisions, follow and lead, show aggression and resistance, and communicate and interact with the environment, contributing to the overall dynamics of the crowd.
"Understanding the behavior of aggregate collections of individuals is challenging, complicated by the fact that modeling systems must take into account the varying behaviors and actions of hundreds or thousands of individuals," said Peter Hottenstein, manager of the Systems Modeling Section in the SwRI Training, Simulation and Performance Improvement Division.
"Even so," he added, "current events in national and international arenas have emphasized the need for such a modeling system."
MAICE Station includes utilities for constructing crowds (or aggregates) and scenarios using extensive sets of attributes and behavior settings. It provides a variety of visualization tools and can be used as an analysis platform as well as a briefing and training tool for event management or post-hoc incident evaluations.
MAICE Station aggregates are built from hundreds or thousands of unique individuals. Behaviors are easily customized, system resource requirements are low and modifications are easily incorporated into the aggregate individuals.
"We designed the infrastructure of MAICE Station to support rapid development of scenarios involving group and crowd dynamics," Hottenstein said.
Users can build scenarios from any map and populate it with customized individual behaviors controlling the interactions and appearance of the groups that make up the crowds. During operation, individuals communicate among themselves; interact with the environment by causing destruction, looting or vandalizing; act on other individuals by heckling, protesting, or fighting; and make decisions that affect the outcome of the scenario. MAICE Station users can also introduce and analyze lethal and non-lethal countermeasures to the scenario. All related stimuli are customizable.
As users observe the finished scenario, they can pause, fast-forward, single-step or slow the runtime speed, or use a zoom window to see close-up views. Individuals can be monitored during operation or data can be logged for later study. In many cases, users choose to adjust the scenario settings and then rerun the scenario to observe the differences in outcomes.
File management utilities are available for saving and reusing scenarios, templates, individual behavior data sets, presets, profiles, master files, objects and customized components. These features also allow users to analyze timelines, evaluate the effects of changes in the use of resources, and study variations in behavior.
For more information contact SwRI Solutions.