Occupant Targets add Seat Reservations to Pathfinder

Posted: November 12th, 2021 in News

In Pathfinder 2021.4 we will introduce a new object for occupant behaviors called a Target. Occupant targets represent a 1-person location which can be reserved by an occupant through a behavior action. This location remains assigned to the occupant even if they temporarily depart, unless a behavior action triggers them to Abandon the target. Targets are an excellent choice for modeling seating for entertainment venues such as stadiums, auditoriums, or theaters as well as waiting lobbies for medical, commercial, or transit locations.

Users will add targets to the model in a similar fashion as waypoints. However, waypoints vary in size and allow more than a single occupant.

Targets are defined primarily by their position on a single point. They each have a radius of 0.5m and the occupant is considered to be within the target once the shape of the occupant intersects with the target radius. Additionally, targets contain a priority numerical value. Priority values help occupants identify preferred targets.

When viewed with coloring by priority, it becomes much easier to distinguish where the occupants prefer to go.

Occupants begin requesting a target reservation upon reaching a Goto Occupant Targets action in their behavior. They might only be able to select targets from a defined subset, or they are able to select any available targets. They may prefer higher or lower priority value targets, or have no preference for priority at all. Secondarily, occupants may prefer to travel a lower distance to a target among their preferred priority. Pathfinder considers all of these variables for all occupants currently seeking a target and will make assignments accordingly.

Target selection and preferences narrow down which targets Pathfinder will assign to occupants.

Once an occupant has obtained a target reservation, they will continue walking towards that target and complete the behavior action. Occupants cannot complete this action until a target is obtained. If one is not available, another occupant will first need to complete an abandon target action.

The target assignment process happens in the background during simulation and occupants receive targets based upon their preferences.

In order to more easily distribute priorities among targets, a dialog is available when selecting multiple targets followed by a right-click. This will allow the user to define a point from which occupants will be assigned a priority relative to their distance from the point. Custom ranges are available and they can be binned (or grouped) into sets to simplify the diversity of priorities.

A right-click dialog assists in defining multiple priorities quickly.

To simplify working with targets, users can right-click a room to select targets within it. Like occupants, targets can be oriented towards a given point via the right-click menu.

In stadium models, having accurate target orientation adds visual realism to the model.

This feature will debut in Pathfinder 2021.4. Especially when combined with attractors, there are many new possibilities for modeling pedestrian ingress. For more information about the upcoming features of the 2021.4 release, subscribe to our email updates.