Post-Doctoral Research Visit F/M Analysis and modelling of dense crowd behaviors



October 16, 2022


2022-05330 - Post-Doctoral Research Visit F/M Analysis and modelling of dense crowd behaviors

Contract type : Fixed-term contract

Level of qualifications required : PhD or equivalent

Fonction : Post-Doctoral Research Visit

About the research centre or Inria department

The Inria Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique Centre is one of Inria's eight centres and has more than thirty research teams. The Inria Center is a major and recognized player in the field of digital sciences. It is at the heart of a rich R&D and innovation ecosystem: highly innovative PMEs, large industrial groups, competitiveness clusters, research and higher education players, laboratories of excellence, technological research institute, etc.



This postdoctoral fellowship is part of the H2020 CrowdDNA project (https:// www. which focuses on dense crowds and physical interactions between individuals in crowds in order to prevent their dangers. The CrowdDNA project, coordinated by Inria, involves 7 partners in Spain, Germany, France and the UK. The project mixes crowd studies, modeling and simulation activities and aims at developing crowd movement analysis technologies to assist in the management of mass events.

The scientific context of the project is the study and modeling of dense crowds. The dense crowd is characterized by levels of density that involve contacts between individuals. The forces exchanged within dense crowds pose potential dangers for individuals with risks of falling or choking 1,2. Different from social interactions which are distant 3, the study of physical interactions requires specific approaches for analysis 4,5 or for modeling and simulation 6,7,8. Recent work also suggests that dense crowds in a situation of potential danger exhibit characteristic behavioral traits 9,10. The proposed postdoctoral fellowship is a continuation of this work. Through modeling and analysis activities within the project as a whole, as well as field campaigns (see objective below), we attempt to develop these technologies for detecting characteristics of dangerous crowds.


Within the framework of this project, we are conducting field campaigns for the acquisition of video and motion capture data on crowd movements. The main objective of the postdoctoral fellowship is to participate to the realization of these acquisition campaigns and to the exploitation of the data to measure the activity of a crowd and to characterize situations of potential danger.

The objective of the post-doctorate is therefore at the border of the study and modeling of dense crowds from field data and the analysis of images of crowds in movement to extract their characteristics. The precise direction followed by the recruited person will depend on his/her research profile.


This postdoctoral position offers a unique research environment, within a transdisciplinary research team, mixing Computer Science, Physics and Biomechanics. We provide access to unique datasets capturing dense crowd behaviors, with great potential for original research exploiting them. We have the necessary degrees of freedom to adapt the direction of this postdoctoral fellowship to the profile of the person recruited.


1 Helbing, D., Johansson, A., & Al-Abideen, H. Z. (2007). Dynamics of crowd disasters: An empirical study. Physical review E, 75(4), 046109.

2 Lee, R. S., & Hughes, R. L. (2005). Exploring trampling and crushing in a crowd. Journal of transportation engineering, 131(8), 575-582.

3 Kaup, D. J., Clarke, T. L., Malone, L., & Oleson, R. (2006). Crowd dynamics simulation research.

4 Boominathan, L., Kruthiventi, S. S., & Babu, R. V. (2016, October). Crowdnet: A deep convolutional network for dense crowd counting. In Proceedings of the 24th ACM international conference on Multimedia (pp. 640-644).

5 Sundararaman, R., De Almeida Braga, C., Marchand, E., & Pettre, J. (2021). Tracking pedestrian heads in dense crowd. In Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (pp. 3865-3875).

6 Narain, R., Golas, A., Curtis, S., & Lin, M. C. (2009). Aggregate dynamics for dense crowd simulation. In ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 papers (pp. 1-8).

7 Kim, S., Guy, S. J., Hillesland, K., Zafar, B., Gutub, A. A. A., & Manocha, D. (2015). Velocity-based modeling of physical interactions in dense crowds. The Visual Computer, 31(5), 541-555.

8 van Toll, W., Chatagnon, T., Braga, C., Solenthaler, B., & Pettré, J. (2021). SPH crowds: Agent-based crowd simulation up to extreme densities using fluid dynamics. Computers & Graphics, 98, 306-321.

9 Bottinelli, A., Sumpter, D. T., & Silverberg, J. L. (2016). Emergent structural mechanisms for high-density collective motion inspired by human crowds. Physical review letters, 117(22), 228301.

10 Bottinelli, A., & Silverberg, J. L. (2017). How to: Using mode analysis to quantify, analyze, and interpret the mechanisms of high-density collective motion. Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, 3, 26.



In coordination with the CrowdDNA team, the postdoctoral fellow participates in the design of experiments on crowd behavior and the exploration of the experimental data collected. He/she will develop methods to analyze these data in order to better understand the behavior of dense crowds. He designs and tests new crowd simulation methods.


The recruit will work closely with Julien Pettré, CrowdDNA project coordinator. He/she will also work with the whole team in Rennes, and the partners of the project.

Main activities

Main activities:

  • Design and implementation of experiments on the behavior of dense crowds
  • Analysis of experimental data
  • Design of simulation methods for dense crowds
  • Writing of scientific papers, scientific communication
  • Skills

    Technical skills and level required : PhD

    Languages : fluent english

    Relational skills : high, to enable collaboration with the CrowdDNA consortium

    Benefits package
  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Leave: 7 weeks of annual leave + 10 extra days off due to RTT
  • Possibility of teleworking ( 90 days per year) and flexible organization of working hours
  • Professional equipment available (videoconferencing, loan of computer equipment, etc.)
  • Social, cultural and sports events and activities
  • Social security coverage
  • Remuneration

    Monthly gross salary amounting to 2746 euros.

    General Information
  • Theme/Domain : Vision, perception and multimedia interpretation Scientific computing (BAP E)

  • Town/city : Rennes

  • Inria Center : CRI Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique
  • Starting date : 2022-12-01
  • Duration of contract : 2 years
  • Deadline to apply : 2022-10-16
  • Contacts
  • Inria Team : RAINBOW
  • Recruiter : Pettre Julien /
  • The keys to success

    We are looking for various profiles for this position:

  • or a thesis on the analysis, modeling or simulation of crowds, from the field of Computer Science or Physics
  • or a thesis on crowd image analysis, from the field of Computer Vision
  • Strong motivation for independent research on crowd behavior
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and communicate scientifically
  • About Inria

    Inria is the French national research institute dedicated to digital science and technology. It employs 2,600 people. Its 200 agile project teams, generally run jointly with academic partners, include more than 3,500 scientists and engineers working to meet the challenges of digital technology, often at the interface with other disciplines. The Institute also employs numerous talents in over forty different professions. 900 research support staff contribute to the preparation and development of scientific and entrepreneurial projects that have a worldwide impact.

    Instruction to apply

    Please submit online : your resume, cover letter and letters of recommendation eventually

    For more information, please contact

    Defence Security : This position is likely to be situated in a restricted area (ZRR), as defined in Decree No. 2011-1425 relating to the protection of national scientific and technical potential (PPST).Authorisation to enter an area is granted by the director of the unit, following a favourable Ministerial decision, as defined in the decree of 3 July 2012 relating to the PPST. An unfavourable Ministerial decision in respect of a position situated in a ZRR would result in the cancellation of the appointment.

    Recruitment Policy : As part of its diversity policy, all Inria positions are accessible to people with disabilities.

    Warning : you must enter your e-mail address in order to save your application to Inria. Applications must be submitted online on the Inria website. Processing of applications sent from other channels is not guaranteed.