Sampling of alternatives for route choice modeling

This paper presents a new paradigm for choice set generation in the context of route choice model estimation. The authors assume that the choice sets contain all paths connecting each origin-destination pair. Although this is behaviorally questionable, the authors make this assumption in order to avoid bias in the econometric model. These sets are in general impossible to generate explicitly. Therefore, the authors propose an importance sampling approach to generate subsets of paths suitable for model estimation. Using only a subset of alternatives requires the path utilities to be corrected according to the sampling protocol in order to obtain unbiased parameter estimates. The authors derive such a sampling correction for the proposed algorithm. Estimating models based on samples of alternatives is straightforward for some types of models, in particular the multinomial logit (MNL) model. In order to apply MNL for route choice, the utilities should also be corrected to account for the correlation using, for instance, a path size (PS) formulation. The authors argue that the PS attribute should be computed based on the full choice set. Again, this is not feasible in general, and the authors propose a new version of the PS attribute derived from the sampling protocol, called Expanded PS. Numerical results based on synthetic data show that models including a sampling correction are remarkably better than the ones that do not. Moreover, the Expanded PS shows good results and outperforms models with the original PS formulation.


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  • Accession Number: 01142887
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 6 2009 2:32PM