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The people who imagine disasters

bbc.com

Simulating a crisis

Modeling systems are used to provide a better understanding of a bad situation and how to possibly prevent it.

Groups of researchers, teams of engineers and companies are dedicated to simulate a range of disasters to help us all be better prepared.

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  • A model is just a series of calculations that abstractly represent some systems in the real world. We use models all the time.
  • We may work out the routes we could take to get to work at a specific time of the day. We use past data to make predictions about what we...

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You can never accurately predict what's going to happen. Some efforts come close.

For example, models looking at the weather can achieve more than 90% accuracy. But crises are about change, and a model working from historical data may miss a dramatic and new change.

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Knowing how people will respond in different situations is essential if you hope to keep them safe during a crisis. A type of simulation known as agent-based modelling attempts to understand interpersonal behaviours.

In stadiums, crowds of people can behave very differently depending ...

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