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A discrete choice model incorporating thresholds for perception in attribute values

  • Cantillo, Víctor
  • Heydecker, Benjamin
  • de Dios Ortúzar, Juan
Registered author(s):

    In this paper we formulate a discrete choice model that incorporates thresholds in the perception of changes in attribute values. The model considers multiple options and allows for changes in several attributes. We postulate that if thresholds exist they could be random, differ between individuals, and even be a function of socio-economic characteristics and choice conditions. Our formulation allows estimation of the parameters of the threshold probability distribution starting from information about choices. The model is applied to synthetic data and also to real data from a stated preference survey. We found that where perception thresholds exist in the population, the use of models without them leads to errors in estimation and prediction. Clearly, the effect is more relevant when the typical size of change in the attribute value is comparable with the threshold, and when the contribution of this attribute in the utility function is substantial. Finally, we discuss the implications of the threshold model for estimation of the benefits of transport investments, and show that where thresholds exist, models that do not represent them can overestimate benefits substantially.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191-2615(05)00135-9
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part B: Methodological.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 9 (November)
    Pages: 807-825

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:40:y:2006:i:9:p:807-825
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    1. Gaudry, Marc J. I. & Jara-Diaz, Sergio R. & Ortuzar, Juan de Dios, 1989. "Value of time sensitivity to model specification," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 151-158, April.
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    3. Li, Chin-Shang & Hunt, Daniel, 2004. "Regression splines for threshold selection with application to a random-effects logistic dose-response model," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-9, May.
    4. Munizaga, Marcela A. & Heydecker, Benjamin G. & Ortúzar, Juan de Dios, 2000. "Representation of heteroskedasticity in discrete choice models," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 219-240, April.
    5. Swait, Joffre, 2001. "A non-compensatory choice model incorporating attribute cutoffs," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 903-928, November.
    6. H C W L Williams, 1977. "On the Formation of Travel Demand Models and Economic Evaluation Measures of User Benefit," Environment and Planning A, SAGE Publishing, vol. 9(3), pages 285-344, March.
    7. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555, Junio.
    8. K. S. Krishnan, 1977. "Incorporating Thresholds of Indifference in Probabilistic Choice Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(11), pages 1224-1233, July.
    9. Kitamura, Ryuichi, 1990. "Panel Analysis in Transportation Planning: An Overview," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt86v0f7zh, University of California Transportation Center.
    10. P.B. Goodwin, 1977. "Habit and Hysteresis in Mode Choice," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 14(1), pages 95-98, February.
    11. Caussade, Sebastián & Ortúzar, Juan de Dios & Rizzi, Luis I. & Hensher, David A., 2005. "Assessing the influence of design dimensions on stated choice experiment estimates," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 621-640, August.
    12. Timothy J. Gilbride & Greg M. Allenby, 2004. "A Choice Model with Conjunctive, Disjunctive, and Compensatory Screening Rules," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(3), pages 391-406, October.
    13. Williams, H. C. W. L. & Ortuzar, J. D., 1982. "Behavioural theories of dispersion and the mis-specification of travel demand models," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 167-219, June.
    14. Cantillo, Víctor & Ortúzar, Juan de Dios, 2005. "A semi-compensatory discrete choice model with explicit attribute thresholds of perception," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 641-657, August.
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