Investigating day-to-day route choices based on multi-scenario laboratory experiments. Part I: Route-dependent attraction and its modeling

by   Hang Qi, et al.

In the area of urban transportation networks, a growing number of day-to-day (DTD) traffic dynamic theories have been proposed to describe the network flow evolution, and an increasing amount of laboratory experiments have been conducted to observe travelers' behavior regularities. However, the "communication" between theorists and experimentalists has not been made well. This paper devotes to 1) detecting unanticipated behavior regularities by conducting a series of laboratory experiments, and 2) improving existing DTD dynamics theories by embedding the observed behavior regularities into a route choice model. First, 312 subjects participated in one of the eight decision-making scenarios and make route choices repeatedly in congestible parallel-route networks. Second, three route-switching behavior patterns that cannot be fully explained by the classic route-choice models are observed. Third, to enrich the explanation power of a discrete route-choice model, behavioral assumptions of route-dependent attractions, i.e., route-dependent inertia and preference, are introduced. An analytical DTD dynamic model is accordingly proposed and proven to steadily converge to a unique equilibrium state. Finally, the proposed DTD model could satisfactorily reproduce the observations in various datasets. The research results can help transportation science theorists to make the best use of laboratory experimentation and to build network equilibrium or DTD dynamic models with both real behavioral basis and neat mathematical properties.


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