Manser, P., Haering, T., Hillel, T., Pougala, J., Krueger, R., and Bierlaire, M. (2021)

Resolving temporal scheduling conflicts in activity-based modelling

This paper presents a novel activity-based demand model that combines an optimisation framework for continuous temporal scheduling decisions (i.e. activity timings and durations) with traditional discrete choice models for non-temporal choice dimensions (i.e. activity participation, number and type of tours, and destinations). The central concept of our approach is that individuals resolve time conflicts that arise from overlapping activities, e.g. needing to work and desiring to shop at the same time, in order to maximise their daily utility. Flexibility parameters indicate behavioural preferences to penalise deviations from desired timings. This framework has three advantages over existing activity-based modelling approaches: (i) the time conflicts between different temporal scheduling decisions including the activity sequence are treated jointly; (ii) flexibility parameters follow an utility-maximisation approach; and (iii) the framework can be used to estimate and simulate a city-scale case study in reasonable time. We introduce an estimation routine that allows flexibility parameters to be calibrated using real-world observations, as well as a simulation routine to efficiently resolve temporal conflicts using an optimisation model. The framework is applied to the full-time workers of a synthetic population for the city of Lausanne, Switzerland. We validate the model results against reported schedules. The results demonstrate the capabilities of our approach to reproduce empirical observations in a real-world case study.

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