Ordering leads to multiple fast tracks in simulated collective escape of human crowds†
Elucidating emergent regularities in intriguing crowd dynamics is a fundamental scientific problem arising in multiple fields. In this work, based on the social force model, we simulate the typical scenario of collective escape towards a single exit and reveal the striking analogy of crowd dynamics and crystallisation. With the outflow of the pedestrians, crystalline order emerges in the compact crowd. In this process, the local misalignment and global rearrangement of pedestrians are well rationalized in terms of the characteristic motions of topological defects in the crystal. Exploiting the notions from the physics of crystallisation further reveals the emergence of multiple fast tracks in the collective escape.