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Understanding movement of individuals and crowds along streetscapes has been a long-standing source of interest for scholars, but tangibly experimenting with crowds and streets is mostly implausible, and so researchers often turn to computer simulations to build artificial laboratories for sidewalks and to populate them with synthetic walkers.

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Computer graphics for gaming and special effects have advanced so far down the uncanny valley that the models that produce movement for those graphics have begun to look out of place.

In parallel, there is an ongoing sea change in the availability of fine-scale data regarding movement and activity, and comparisons between our models and these data don’t always look good!

"Males are less affected by how attractive they themselves are than females," Lee said in a telephone interview.

Guys were more likely than ladies to request dates out of their league.

So while a man might have no qualms about going after someone much better looking than he is, a woman will tend more to choose partners with compatible looks.

Another recent study suggests that, in general, for both men and women physical attractiveness guides cupid's arrow.In response, traditional models take two significant shortcuts: (1) considering coarse-level phenomena such as density and flow, and (2) projecting crowd behavior through the lens of equations from chemistry, informatics, mechanics, physics, and statistics, where complexity is tractable.However, expectations for the sophistication of our models have shifted."Whereas less attractive people are willing to accept less attractive others as dating partners, they do not delude themselves into thinking that these less attractive others are, in fact, physically attractive," they write in the journal article.Looks can be overrated To understand how the physically-lacking individuals cope with the cards they were dealt, the researchers conducted a speed-dating study.“In other words good looks was the primary stimulus of attraction for both men and women, and a person with good earning prospects or ambition tended to be liked as well,” said study researcher Eli Finkel, an assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern University in Illinois.

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