Self-organized queuing and scale-free behavior in real escape panic
Numerical investigations of escape panic of confined pedestrians have revealed interesting dynamical features such as pedestrian arch formation around an exit, disruptive interference, self-organized queuing, and scale-free behavior. However, these predictions have remained unverified because escape panic experiments with real systems are difficult to perform. For mice escaping out of a water pool, we found that for a critical sampling rate the escape behavior exhibits the predicted features even at short observation times. The mice escaped via an exit in bursts of different sizes that obey exponential and (truncated) power-law distributions depending on exit width. Oversampling or undersampling the mouse escape rate prevents the observation of the predicted features. Real systems are normally subject to unavoidable constraints arising from occupancy rate, pedestrian exhaustion, and nonrigidity of pedestrian bodies.