Hui Xi, a doctoral student in the UA department of systems and industrial engineering, won the Graduate Research Award May 23 at the annual conference of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.
Hui received the award for her master's thesis titled "Integrated pedestrian behavior model based on extended decision field theory and social force model."
Hui's research studies how people move, alone or as a group, under certain conditions. She has developed new computer models of pedestrian behavior that incorporate how we make decisions as humans, and how we interact with one another and with our surroundings in congested crowd situations.
The objective of Hui's research is to predict how large groups of people might react to sudden upheavals, such as natural disasters, traffic accidents, or terrorist attacks. Hui's advisor, Young-Jun Son, sees applications in areas such as homeland security, transportation, and manufacturing. "Large-scale human-centric systems constitute the bulk of modern society," Son said. "A synthetic pedestrian behavior modeling scheme, which Hui has proposed, is timely, and its impact on the real world will be significant."
Son's research group is building a strong reputation in industrial engineering circles. In 2009, Son and his former PhD candidate Seungho Lee took the best paper award in the area of modeling and simulation at the Industrial Engineering Research Conference in Miami, for their paper titled "Dynamic learning in human decision behavior under the extended belief-desire-intention framework." At the same conference, a former doctoral student, Nurcin Celik, received the Graduate Research Award as well as best PhD scientific poster award in the PhD colloquium.
In 2008, Seungho Lee and Son won the best paper award in the area of homeland security at the Industrial Engineering Research Conference in Vancouver, Canada. At the same conference, Lee also received best PhD scientific poster award in the PhD colloquium.
At the 2005 Industrial Engineering Research Conference in Atlanta, Son received the Outstanding Young Industrial Engineer Award. He also won the best paper award, with five of his graduate students, in the area of modeling and simulation.