THE INSIGHTS

Social Distancing and Seating – letting an algorithm run loose – part 2

Since the first trial – using an algorithm to design the optimal seating plan under social distancing restrictions – there are now new restrictions in place. So, Activity Stream took the algorithm out for another spin and started thinking about how it could be implemented when sales start up.

First, a quick recap of the first results:

We experimented with His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, applying different size restrictions. With 2m restrictions, capacity was only 18%, while loosening restrictions to 1.5m, 1.2m and 1.0m increased capacity to 28%, 30% and 37%. Taking it to 3 feet took capacity up to 44%.

In Austria, the latest guidelines allow seating with 1m distance, but the requirement is only sideways, not front or back. Therefore, when applying these new restrictions, the algorithm allows 76% of seats to be filled (!!), but with a dominance of groups of 3 or 4.

Seat map:

In order to accommodate a more typical distribution of group sizes we implemented a “target distribution” to the algorithm, with groups of sizes 1 through 4 distributed with 10% – 40% – 20% – 30%.

This limitation (expectedly) lowers the capacity, but still allows 69,6%, and that is with a very strict distribution:

With the final seat map looking like this…