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Olympic venue crowd simulation

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Pro Model, based in Orem, uses computer simulation to generate models of how to quickly get spectators through metal detectors at Olympic venues.

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Venue Crowd Simulation

Getting everyone through security checks before Olympic events start, is a concern for both those with tickets and Olympic organizers.

SLOC is using a computer simulation company based in Utah to try to figure it all out, to keep those lines moving.

News Specialist Sam Penrod is live overlooking the Olympic Medals Plaza with more.

Getting into the area around the medals plaza will require going through security.

So the challenge for this company was trying to estimate what it will take to get thousands of people through security checks, without keeping them standing in line.

Pro Model, based in Orem, uses computer simulation to generate models of how something will work.

In this project, they tried to determine the fastest way to realistically get spectators through metal detectors at Olympic venues.

Lori Monson/Pro Model Corp.: "What we allowed them to do is actually test out those plans and find the best way to get people into the venues in a secured manner in the shortest wait times."

This is the first time computer simulation has been used in planning for Olympic events.

Instead of using mathematical formulas, this process allows a measurement of how a process will work over a period of time.

Jeff Leavy/Pro Model Corp: "With simulation, though, it allows you to view the changing and dynamic interaction of all these activities over time, which gives you a more accurate representation of what the real system is."

Senior Consultant Jeff Leavy and other members of his team have worked over the last several months modeling transportation from Park and Rides to venues.

Recently they were assigned to determine how tighter security checks would delay spectators getting into the venues.

Jeff Leavy/Pro Model Corp: "What we did is ran our simulation and varied the time and made each individual going through the queue at different times and then we looked over a space of time for what the average time would be and that would accurately represent pretty much real life."

For example, there are three security check locations around the medals plaza, Delta Center and press facilities at the Salt Palace.

Pro Model's data suggests that even at peak times, the wait to get through security should be less than 15 minutes.

Not bad considering nearly 30-thousand people will be trying to get in only an hour and a half.

Still the lesson to learn from this story, the earlier you get to the venues, the less time you will spend trying to get through security.