Home > Uncategorized > Two recent media reports on crowd behavior analysis

Two recent media reports on crowd behavior analysis

The media is very interested in the topic of crowd behavior analysis. Here are recent two articles published in Financial Times and the Economist respectively.

Financial Times, Dec 27, 2011

Crowd behaviour: United they stand

This articile discusses the behavior similarity and difference between the crowd of civilians in Cairo for Arab Spring and the crowd of bond traders in Chicago. Keywords: the shared social identity, informational cascade, consensus and competition of individuals in group.

The Economist, Dec 17 2011

The wisdom of the crowd

This article mainly introduces the work done by Mehdi Moussaid and Dirk Helbing, which is published recently in PNAS. In the PNAS paper, the authors proposed two simple cognitive heuristics to explain the pedestrian behavior in public place. Two crucial problems are formulated and analyzed in the paper:

  • What kind of information is used by the pedestrian?
  • How is this information processed to adapt the walking behavior?

I think this research work is well done. Two take-home ideas: 1) Pedestrian more possibly rely on simple heuristics to do decision making when receiving visual information of environment. 2) Moussaid is really good at marketing his research works, since the Economist is an influential magazine all over the world. This would draw a wide range of audiences to what his research make sense.

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