Smart Systems in Emergency Wayfinding: A Literature Review

  • Elisângela VilarEmail author
  • Francisco Rebelo
  • Paulo Noriega
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10919)


Wayfinding difficulties may lead people to avoid places; it also can make them late for important occurrences such as business meetings or flights, which may cause loss of opportunity and money. Additionally, as settings grow in dimension and complexity, emergency evacuation emerges as a key problem, and wayfinding becomes a matter of life and death. Thus, a large concentration of people, with different degrees of familiarity with the building, motivations, and anxieties, should be able to satisfy their needs in a network of paths leading to different destinations, even when, during an emergency, they face doubtful situations created by the incongruence between the architecture and the signage system. In this context, the present paper is focused on a theoretical review on emergency evacuation process and signage systems in order to explore new paradigms on emergency wayfinding into complex building. Considering the evolution of technology in terms of availability, cost and ease of use, this paper discusses the use of traditional and new wayfinding system considering some established theories such as the “cry wolf” and the “learned irrelevance” theories.


Smart systems Smart buildings Wayfinding Emergency evacuation Signage 



This research is supported by FCT grant n. SFRH/BPD/93993/2013.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisângela Vilar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francisco Rebelo
    • 1
  • Paulo Noriega
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculdade de Arquitetura, Centro de Investigação em Arquitetura, Urbanismo e Design, Rua Sá NogueiraUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

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