Developing a Positive Approach to Travel Demand Analysis: SILK Theory and Behavioral User Equilibrium

This paper develops a positive approach to travel demand analysis, which does not assume perfect rationality (i.e. complete information and utility maximization) in travel decision-making. Instead, the process through which travelers learn the characteristics of the transportation system, accumulate spatial knowledge; search for alternatives under imperfect information, and employ subjective beliefs and heuristic rules in decision-making is theorized. The proposed Search, Information, Learning, and Knowledge (SILK) in travel decision-making is able to produce quantitative models of individual travel behavior in which learning follows Bayes principles and behavioral rules are empirically derived by knowledge-acquisition methods. System-level demand patterns that emerge from the individual behaviors are then obtained using agent-based aggregation techniques. This positive approach is demonstrated by the subsequent development of a route choice model for the Twin Cities, Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota metropolitan area, including the quantification of spatial knowledge and Bayesian learning process, collection of process data for model estimation and validation, the derivation of route search and choice heuristics as production rules, and the production of aggregate flow patterns. The traffic equilibrium under the adopted positive assumptions is defined as the Behavioral User Equilibrium (BUE) at which the subjective search gain is lower than the perceived search cost for all users. Results suggest that normative assumptions, such as perfect information and unlimited human abilities to maximize utility can produce significant prediction biases. The proposed positive approach, consisting of the SILK theoretical framework, practical data collection techniques, and unconventional travel modeling methods, serves as an alternative framework for developing travel demand models.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 791-812
  • Monograph Title: Transportation and Traffic Theory 2007

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01076788
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780080453750
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 9 2007 1:58PM