According to O’Sullivan, the field of Pedestrian models is one of the up and coming areas of interest in what he calls “a locally specific agent-based approach” (O’Sullivan, 543). In his section on “mid-range regionally or locally specific models”, he states that recent work has been done to simulate crowd-control of large groups of pedestrians in a panicked situation. I would like to take this approach much further and propose a what-if scenario in which ABM was used to model what would happen in a situation where a real-life pathogenic Zombie outbreak were to occur.
Some suggested parameters to add to the model would be the underlying city infrastructure, locations of food, water and first-aid, locations of weapons and ammunition as well as areas that can be considered safe to occupy. One of the key features that would have to be programed in the agent’s ability would be non-infected vs infected and how individuals vs groups would respond to either individuals or groups of Zombies. In O’Sullivan’s example, he notes that while the environments that the agents occupy may be complex, the agents themselves are not complex. Ideally, it would be a simple matter of the flight or flight response, with added thresholds for when the risk of danger is outweighed by the need to venture outside to scavenge materials.
I wish that I understood more about building these sorts of models, as this is a theoretical situation that I would be thrilled to be able to simulate.