DHB: The Process of Collective Behavior: Validation of a Unified Mathematical Model Using Computer Vision Tracking

Project: Research project

Project Details


This interdisciplinary project teams a social psychologist, a mathematician, two computer scientists, and a sociologist in research that combines a mathematical model of collective behavior with software for image tracking, classification, simulation, and animation. The hypothesis to be tested is that behavior in a large crowd results primarily from social influence within and between small groups, in contrast to existing models, which operate at the level of the individual or of the entire collective. The model unifies these approaches and allows for comparative assessment by varying the importance given to individual factors versus properties of the entire collective versus the influence of small-group interaction. Validation of the model will be based on novel computer vision analyses of videos of crowds of varying nature, structure, and size. The theory and the tools to be developed by this project can assist personnel in law enforcement, emergency management, and event management to minimize violence, speed up evacuations, and reduce accidental injury. The automated tracking software will provide real-time information far beyond what human observers can accurately determine.

Effective start/end date9/15/078/31/12


  • National Science Foundation: $761,982.00


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