Route choice analysis:data, models, algorithms and applications

Emma Frejinger
This thesis focuses on the route choice behavior of car drivers (uni-modal networks). More precisely, we are interested in identifying which route a given traveler would take to go from one location to another. For the analysis of this problem we use discrete choice models and disaggregate revealed preferences data. Route choice models play an important role in many transport applications, for example, intelligent transport systems, GPS navigation and transportation planning. The route choice
more » ... The route choice problem is particularly difficult to analyze because it involves the modeling of choice behavior in large transportation networks. Several issues need to be addressed in order to obtain an operational model. First, trip observations in their original format rarely correspond to link-bylink descriptions of chosen paths and they therefore need to be matched to the network representation used by the modeler. This involves data processing that can introduce bias and errors. Second, the actual alternatives considered by the travelers are unknown to the analyst. Since there is a large, possibly infinite, number of feasible paths in the network, individual specific choice sets of paths need to be defined. Third, alternatives are often highly correlated due to physical overlap between the paths (shared links). Models with flexible correlation structure are complex to specify and to estimate. Simple models are therefore often used in practice even tough the associated assumptions about correlation are violated. Fourth, most route choice models assume that the decision is performed pre-trip. Their application in a context where drivers receive real-time information about traffic conditions is questionable. In this thesis we address each of the aforementioned issues. First, we propose a general modeling scheme that reconciles network-free data with a network based model so that the data processing related to map-matching is not anymore necessary. The framework allows the estimation of any existing route choice model based on original trip observations that are described as sequences of locations. We illustrate the approach with a real dataset of reported long distance trips in Switzerland. vii
doi:10.5075/epfl-thesis-4009 fatcat:vdhxhjtwl5bubnc6vnlgpepppe