Developing advanced econometric frameworks for modeling multidimensional choices : an application to integrated land-use activity based model framework

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Eluru, Naveen

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The overall goal of the dissertation is to contribute to the growing literature on the activity-based framework by focusing on the modeling of choices that are influenced by land-use and travel environment attributes. An accurate characterization of activity-travel patterns requires explicit consideration of the land-use and travel environment (referred to as travel environment from here on). There are two important categories of travel environment influences: direct (or causal) and indirect (or self-selection) effects. The direct effect of travel environment refers to how travel environment attributes causally influence travel choices. This direct effect may be captured by including travel environment variables as exogenous variables in travel models. Of course, determining if a travel environment variable has a direct effect on an activity/travel choice of interest is anything but straightforward. This is because of a potential indirect effect of the influence of the travel environment, which is not related to a causal effect. That is, the very travel environment attributes experienced by a decision maker (individual or household) is a function of a suite of a priori travel related choices made by the decision maker. The specific emphasis of the current dissertation is on moving away from considering travel environment choices as purely exogenous determinants of activity-travel models, and instead explicitly modeling travel environment decisions jointly along with activity-travel decisions in an integrated framework. Towards this end, the current dissertation formulates econometric models to analyze multidimensional choices. The multidimensional choice situations examined (and the corresponding model developed) in the research effort include: (1) reason for residential relocation and associated duration of stay (joint multinomial logit model and a grouped logit model), (2) household residential location and daily vehicle miles travelled (Copula based joint binary logit and log-linear regression model), (3) household residential location, vehicle type and usage choices (copula based Generalized Extreme Value and log-linear regression model) and (4) activity type, travel mode, time period of day, activity duration and activity location (joint multiple discrete continuous extreme value (MDCEV) model and multinomial logit model (MNL) with sampling of alternatives). The models developed in the current dissertation are estimated using actual field data from Zurich and San Francisco. A variety of policy exercises are conducted to illustrate the advantages of the econometric models developed. The results from these exercises clearly underline the importance of incorporating the direct and indirect effects of travel environment on these choice scenarios.



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