Toward a Multi-Level and Multi-Paradigm Platform for Building Occupant Simulation

AbstractIn recent years, simulation has been used to investigate the mutual relationship between buildings and their occupants while focusing on pedestrian movement, emergency egress, day-to-day occupancy, and energy use. Most of these efforts employ discrete-time simulation, where building and agent properties are constantly updated at fixed time steps to reflect the dynamics of people and buildings. The behavior of real-world occupants, however, involves a variety of decision-making patterns that unfold over different time scales and are often triggered by discrete events rather than gradual change. In working toward a platform supporting the full range of human activities in buildings, we embed a discrete-time occupant movement simulator called SteerSuite within a general-purpose discrete-event simulation framework called SyDEVS. With preexisting SteerSuite functions providing low-level steering behavior, and newly implemented SyDEVS nodes providing high-level planning behavior, the integrated prototype represents a multi-level and multi-paradigm approach to occupant simulation for building design applications.

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