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A Portfolio Theory of Route Choice

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  • Shanjiang Zhu
  • David Levinson

    ()
    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

Although many individual route choice models have been proposed to incorporate travel time variability as a decision factor, they are typically still deterministic in the sense that the optimal strategy requires choosing one particular route that maximizes utility. In contrast, this study introduces an individual route choice model where choos- ing a portfolio of routes instead of a single route is the best strategy for a rational traveler who cares about both journey time and lateness when facing stochastic net- work conditions. The model is then tested with GPS data collected in metropolitan Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Our data suggest strong correlation among link speed when analyzing morning commute trips. There is no single dominant route (de- fined here as a route with the shortest travel time for a 15 day period) in 18% of cases when links travel times are correlated. This paper demonstrates that choosing a port- folio of routes could be the rational choice of a traveler who wants to optimize route decisions under variability.

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File URL: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/PortfolioTheory.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 000096.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Publication status: Published in working paper
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:portfoliotheory

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Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
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Web page: http://nexus.umn.edu
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Keywords: Transportation planning; route choice; travel behavior; link performance;

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  1. Small, Kenneth A. & Winston, Clifford & Yan, Jia, 2005. "Uncovering the Distribution of Motorists' Preferences for Travel Time and Reliability," Working paper 179, Regulation2point0.
  2. Robert B. Noland & John W. Polak, 2002. "Travel time variability: A review of theoretical and empirical issues," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 39-54, January.
  3. Brownstone, David & Small, Kenneth A., 2003. "Valuing Time and Reliability: Assessing the Evidence from Road Pricing Demonstrations," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt95z0p35k, University of California Transportation Center.
  4. André de Palma & Nathalie Picard, 2004. "Route Choice behavior with risk averse users," THEMA Working Papers 2004-09, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  5. Shanjiang Zhu & David Levinson & Henry Liu, 2009. "Measuring Winners and Losers from the new I-35W Mississippi River Bridge," Working Papers 000066, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  6. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  7. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151.
  8. Spiess, Heinz & Florian, Michael, 1989. "Optimal strategies: A new assignment model for transit networks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 83-102, April.
  9. Kamarianakis, Yiannis & Prastacos, Poulicos, 2002. "Space-time modeling of traffic flow," ERSA conference papers ersa02p141, European Regional Science Association.
  10. Whittaker, Joe & Garside, Simon & Lindveld, Karel, 1997. "Tracking and predicting a network traffic process," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 51-61, March.
  11. Frejinger, E. & Bierlaire, M., 2007. "Capturing correlation with subnetworks in route choice models," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 363-378, March.
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