An analysis of the dynamics of activity and travel needs in response to social network evolution and life-cycle events: A structural equation model

Several studies in transportation literature have shown that in the short-term social networks play an important role in discretionary activity and travel decisions of an individual. However, social networks may not remain unchanged in the long term, particularly in response to life-cycle events (for instance, an employment transition). A change in the social network in turn may have a repercussion on activity and travel behaviour, indicating that an investigation of the long term dynamics of social networks are relevant for understanding activity scheduling, or rescheduling behaviour. To this end, the paper advances the concept of social network dynamics in dynamic activity travel behaviour modelling. It explores the dynamics of social networks and life-cycle events, and their influence on activity and travel needs. Dynamics are assumed to be triggered by life-cycle events. For the purpose of the study an event-based retrospective survey was conducted in 2011 in the Netherlands. A structural equation model was developed to elicit activity and travel needs and their dependencies on life-cycle and social network dynamics. The estimated model takes history dependence of activity and travel needs into account. Results suggest that activity and travel dynamics are influenced by life-cycle and social network dynamics. Moreover social network and activity travel dynamics were found to be interdependent (i.e. a change in one leads to change in the other). Furthermore, the study results confirm the general assumption that travel needs are for the most part influenced by activity needs. The paper concludes that the theory and modelling framework of travel behaviour dynamics should take the dynamics of personal networks into account.


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  • Accession Number: 01523206
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 24 2014 11:58AM