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TU Berlin

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Evacuation Simulation and Optimization

This site documents the results of the student project "PG 517: Evakuierungsprobleme" at TU Dortmund. In the course of the project, the software tool ZET has been created, which allows modelling, simulation and optimization of evacuation scenarios. The development of the software is continued within the Matheon project B18.

Project supervision
Prof. Dr. Martin Skutella
Institut für Mathematik, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 136, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)30 - 314 78654
Additional supervision:
Dr. Markus Chimani (TU Dortmund)
Daniel Dressler (TU Berlin)
Karsten Klein (TU Dortmund)

The following students participated in the original project:
Martin Groß, Jan-Philipp Kappmeier, Moukarram Kabbash, Sophia Kardung, Timon Kelter, Joscha Kulbatzki, Daniel Plümpe, Marcel Preuß, Gordon Schlechter, Melanie Schmidt, Sylvie Katharina Temme, Matthias Woste

Project description


The goal of the project was to link a crowd simulation with network flow optimization. The result is a software package called "ZET" licensed under the GPL. In ZET, one can design a multi-storey building and add residents and exits to it.

An earliest arrival flow is then computed to route the residents to the best exits. Since the flow computation has to make certain idealistic assumptions, the included simulation can then be used to test the computed evacuation paths. A wide selection of statistics and an advanced visualizer help to analyze the data.


ZET has an integrated editor that can be used to design the evacuation scenarios. With this editor it is possible to create various floors, rooms on the floors and specialized areas within the rooms that have additional semantics. All rooms and areas can be arbitrary closed polygons

Screenshot of editing window.

The evacuees can be automatically set in so called "assignment areas". The residents can be divided into groups that have different properties. The properties and groups can be edited in the assignment editor, the adjustment of the properties is done by several property distributions.

Screenshot of property editor for building population.

Both, the simulaton on a cellular automaton and the calculated network flow can be visualized in 3d using OpenGL. The position of the camera inside the visualization is completely controllable using the normal mouse and keyboard controls. Within the visualization various information can be accessed, such as for example the utilization of areas.
The visualization can be viewed in perspective view, isometric view and orthogonal projection.

Screenshot of isometric view.
Screenshot of orthogonal view.
Screenshot of perspective view.


Version 1.0.3 of the software ZET can be downloaded here, including signature files. ZET is distributed as compiled Java(TM) package and needs at least Java 6.0. The source code of ZET is available from sourceforge. The latest version of the source code can be directly accessed via the SVN Repository.

The program file is signed using the public key of zet.

This version of zet was published at 06. 01. 2010. The download contains the program inclidung some example files.

This site is no longer updated. Current versions of ZET can be found on the official website.

Installation and execution of ZET


ZET is released as a Java package in a jar file. It suffices to extract the rar file into an arbitrary directory, e.g. on Windows machines into C:\Applications. As ZET is capable of running out of the home directory it is not necessary to have administrator privilegues. The release package contains all needed libraries. The system depending libraries used for 3d visualization using OpenGL are contained in different versions for MacOS, Linux and Windows. ZET is, with exception of the OpenGL system libraries, completely written in Java and needs at least Java Version 6. The current version of Java can be downloaded at the Java download page.

The program is stored in the jar file zet.jar, which cannot be startet directly as the path to the system depending libraries has to be set. These files are stored in directories of the form /lib/jogl-system-architecture. The following table shows the correct parameter for supported systems:

Operating system
Linux 32 bit
java -Djava.library.path="lib/jogl/linux-i586/" -jar zet.jar
Linux 64 bit
java -Djava.library.path="lib/jogl/linux-amd64/" -jar zet.jar
MacOS Power PC
java -Djava.library.path="lib/jogl/macosx-ppc/" -jar zet.jar
MacOS Universal 32 bit
(At least Java 6 necessary)
java -Djava.library.path="lib/jogl/macosx-univ/" -jar zet.jar
MacOS Universal 64 bit
(Works under Mac OS 10.6 only as before no Java 6 was provided)
java -Djava.library.path="lib/jogl/macosx-univ/" -d32 -jar zet.jar
Windows 32 bit
java -Djava.library.path="lib/jogl/windows-i586/" -jar zet.jar
Windows 64 bit
java -Djava.library.path="lib/jogl/windows-amd64/" -jar zet.jar

Additionally for some operating systems there exist different possibilities to start ZET.

On Windows systems, the batch files zet32.bat and zet64.bat call the version for 32 bit intel systems and amd64 systems, respectively.
The executable files zet32.exe and zet64.exe call a version of the java interpreter that hides the default output and is recommended to use if no debug information is needed. Both executables take the same commandline parameter as the jar file.

For Linux systems the shell scripts zet32.sh and zet64.sh start the application in 32-bit mode and 64-bit mode, respectiveley.


Dressler, Daniel and Groß, Martin and Kappmeier, Jan-Philipp and Kelter, Timon and Kulbatzki, Joscha and Plümpe, Daniel and Schlechter, Gordon and Schmidt, Melanie and Skutella, Martin and Temme, Sylvie.
On the use of network flow techniques for assigning evacuees to exits.
In Hoogendoorn, S.P. and Pel, A.J. and Taylor, M.A.P. and Mahmassani, H. (ed.)Proceedings of the International Conference on Evacuation Modeling and Management, Procedia Engineering, Vol. 3, pp. 205–215, Elsevier Ltd, 2010.

Link to original publication

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