Flow of pedestrians through narrow doors with different competitiveness
We report a thorough analysis of the intermittent flow of pedestrians through a narrow door. The observations include five different sets of evacuation drills with which we have investigated the effect of door size and competitiveness on the flow dynamics. Although the outcomes are in general compatible with the existence of the faster-is-slower effect, the temporal evolution of the instantaneous flow rate provides evidence of new features. These stress the crucial role of the number of people performing the tests, which has an influence on the obtained results. Once the transients at the beginning and end of the evacuation are removed, we have found that the time lapses between the passage of two consecutive pedestrians display heavy-tailed distributions in all the scenarios studied. Meanwhile, the distribution of burst sizes decays exponentially; this can be linked to a constant probability of finding a long-lasting clog during the evacuation process. Based on these results, a discussion is presented on the caution that should be exercised when measuring or describing the intermittent flow of pedestrians through narrow doors.