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Activity Based Modeling: A Brief Introduction. Mike Neidhart, PhD, AICP Volusia County MPO. Florida Model Task Force Meeting November 29, 2007. MTF – 2 Track Focus. MTF work can be divided into 2 frames of thought (or tracks/focus)

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activity based modeling a brief introduction

Activity Based Modeling: A Brief Introduction

Mike Neidhart, PhD, AICP

Volusia County MPO

Florida Model Task Force Meeting

November 29, 2007

mtf 2 track focus
MTF – 2 Track Focus
  • MTF work can be divided into 2 frames of thought (or tracks/focus)
    • Research based on how we can incrementally improve our existing model framework
    • Research model frameworks/philosophies that are 5-10 years into the future such as incorporation of meso and/or micro models, Activity Based models, etc.
  • This presentation will be on Activity Based Models
amb background
AMB Background
  • Activity Based Models (ABM) predict travel behavior as a derivative of activities (i.e., derived demand)
  • Travel decisions are part of a broader process based on modeling the demand for activities rather than merely modeling trips
amb background continued
AMB Background Continued
  • ABM belongs to the 3rd generation of travel demand models
    • Trip based 4-step models
    • Disaggregate trip based models
    • Activity based models
  • In ABM the basic unit of analysis is the activities of individuals/households
amb background continued5
AMB Background Continued
  • ABM are based on the theories of Hägerstrand (1970) and Chapin (1974)
    • Hägerstrand focused on personal and social constraints
    • Chapin focused on opportunities and choices
  • Theory is that activity demand is motivated by basic human desires for: survival, ego gratification, and social encounters
activity demand
Activity Demand
  • Unfortunately, it is difficult to model activity demand
  • However, research indicates that household membership moderates activity demand such that:
    • Households influence activity decisions
    • Effects differ by household type, size, membership relationship, age, and gender
    • Children impose significant demands and constraints on others in the household
abm approach slide content e zwerts
ABM Approach (slide content: E. Zwerts)
  • Travel demand is derived from activities that individuals need/wish to perform
  • Sequence/patterns of behavior, not individual trips, are the unit of analysis
  • Household and other social structures influence travel and activity behavior
  • Spatial, temporal, transportation, and interpersonal interdependencies constrain activity/travel behavior
abm approach slide content e zwerts8
ABM Approach (slide content: E. Zwerts)
  • Activity based approaches reflect the scheduling of activities in time and space
  • Activity based approaches aim at predicting which activities are conducted where, when, for how long, with whom, by mode, and ideally also the implied route decision
abm paradigms slide content g jovicic
ABM Paradigms (slide content: G. Jovicic)
  • ABM rely on the following 5 paradigms:
    • Travel is a derived demand from activity participation
    • Focus is on the sequence of activities/events
    • Activities are both planned within the context of the household
    • Activities are spread over a 24-hour period in a continuous manner rather than using “peak” and “off-peak” periods
    • Travel choices are limited in time, space, and by personal constraints
hypothetical travel day
Hypothetical Travel Day

Graphic by Goran Jovicic

how to model trips slide content g jovicic
How To Model Trips (slide content: G. Jovicic)
  • Trip-based model would model all 7 trips independent of the other trips
  • Tour-based model would model Tour 1 and Tour 2 independent of each other, while the Work Tour would be modeled as two independent trips
  • ABM would model the 4 activities and associated trips (work, meeting, shopping, and movie) as part of the same decision process
criticism of trip based models
Criticism of Trip Based Models
  • Poor forecasting accuracy of trip based models most likely due to the model’s theoretical mis-specification
  • Trip based 4-step and disaggregate models have a fundamental error – they analyze each trip independently of other trips made by the individual
    • Trip based models fail to recognize the linkages among trips, between trips, and the activity participation by the individual
advantages of abm
Advantages of ABM
  • Theoretically based on human behavior
    • Better understanding and prediction of traveler behavior
  • Based on decision-making choices present in the “real-world”
  • Use of disaggregate data
  • Inclusion of time-of-day travel choices
  • Jovicic, G.: Activity Based Travel Demand Modelling: A Literature Study. Danmarks TransportForskning Publishing, Note 8, 2001.
  • Bowman, J. L. & Ben-Akiva, M.: Activity Based Travel Forecasting. tutorial on activity based travel forecasting taught at conference of same name in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 2, 1996.
  • Shiftan, Y.; Ben-Akiva, M.; Proussaloglou, K.; deJong, G.; Popuri, Y.; Kasturirangan, K. & Bekhor, S.: Activity Based Modeling as a Tool for Better Understanding Travel Behaviour. Paper presented at the 10th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research, Lucerne, August 2003.
  • Zwerts, E. (in cooperation with E. Moons & D. Janssens): Activity-Based Modelling: An Overview. PowerPoint presentation, Limburgs Universitair Centrum, Universitaire Campus, gebouw D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.