Efficient numerical methods for multiscale crowd dynamics with emotional contagion

Li Wang, Martin B. Short, Andrea L. Bertozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


In this paper, we develop two efficient numerical methods for a multiscale kinetic equation in the context of crowd dynamics with emotional contagion [A. Bertozzi, J. Rosado, M. Short and L. Wang, Contagion shocks in one dimension, J. Stat. Phys. 158 (2014) 647-664]. In the continuum limit, the mesoscopic kinetic equation produces a natural Eulerian limit with nonlocal interactions. However, such limit ceases to be valid when the underlying microscopic particle characteristics cross, corresponding to the blow up of the solution in the Eulerian system. One method is to couple these two situations-using Eulerian dynamics for regions without characteristic crossing and kinetic evolution for regions with characteristic crossing. For such a hybrid setting, we provide a regime indicator based on the macroscopic density and fear level, and propose an interface condition via continuity to connect these two regimes. The other method is based on a level set formulation for the continuum system. The level set equation shares similar forms as the kinetic equation, and it successfully captures the multi-valued solution in velocity, which implies that the multi-valued solution other than the viscosity solution should be the physically relevant ones for the continuum system. Numerical examples are presented to show the efficiency of these new methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-230
Number of pages26
JournalMathematical Models and Methods in Applied Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 World Scientific Publishing Company.


  • Crowd dynamics
  • hybrid scheme
  • level set method
  • multi-valued solution


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