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Mathematical Models of Road Travel Distances


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  • Robert F. Love

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • James G. Morris

    (Kent State University)

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    Some management science models require estimates of distances between points in a road network based on the point coordinates. This paper evaluates the accuracy of a range of reasonable forms for distance estimating functions using samples of urban and rural road distances. The intent is to derive better distance estimating functions for analyzing systems with distance related performance measures. Contrary to a standard assumption, the rectangular distance function is inferior to the simple Euclidean metric in the urban samples. More general functions provide still greater improvement over the rectangular metric. Statistical significance accompanies these conclusions. One of the more general functions appears particularly suited to rural distances.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 25 (1979)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 130-139

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:25:y:1979:i:2:p:130-139

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    Keywords: transportation: road; statistics: estimation; planning: urban;


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    Cited by:
    1. Brimberg, Jack & Juel, Henrik, 1998. "A bicriteria model for locating a semi-desirable facility in the plane," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 144-151, April.
    2. Brimberg, Jack & Love, Robert F. & Walker, John H., 1995. "The effect of axis rotation on distance estimation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 357-364, January.
    3. Dubois, Nicolas & Semet, Frederic, 1995. "Estimation and determination of shortest path length in a road network with obstacles," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 105-116, May.
    4. David Levinson & Ahmed El-Geneidy, 2007. "The Minimum Circuity Frontier and the Journey to Work," Working Papers 200905, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    5. Dieperink, H. & Nijkamp, P., 1987. "A multiple criteria location model for innovative firms in a communication network," Serie Research Memoranda 0072, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    6. Ballou, Ronald H. & Rahardja, Handoko & Sakai, Noriaki, 2002. "Selected country circuity factors for road travel distance estimation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 843-848, November.
    7. Lin, Yen-Hung & Batta, Rajan & Rogerson, Peter A. & Blatt, Alan & Flanigan, Marie, 2011. "A logistics model for emergency supply of critical items in the aftermath of a disaster," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 132-145, December.
    8. Heydari, Ruhollah & Melachrinoudis, Emanuel, 2012. "Location of a semi-obnoxious facility with elliptic maximin and network minisum objectives," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 223(2), pages 452-460.
    9. Alpaydin, Ethem & Altinel, I. Kuban & Aras, Necati, 1996. "Parametric distance functions vs. nonparametric neural networks for estimating road travel distances," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 230-243, September.


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