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Simulation based population synthesis

Author

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  • Farooq, Bilal
  • Bierlaire, Michel
  • Hurtubia, Ricardo
  • Flötteröd, Gunnar

Abstract

Microsimulation of urban systems evolution requires synthetic population as a key input. Currently, the focus is on treating synthesis as a fitting problem and thus various techniques have been developed, including Iterative Proportional Fitting (IPF) and Combinatorial Optimization based techniques. The key shortcomings of these procedures include: (a) fitting of one contingency table, while there may be other solutions matching the available data (b) due to cloning rather than true synthesis of the population, losing the heterogeneity that may not have been captured in the microdata (c) over reliance on the accuracy of the data to determine the cloning weights (d) poor scalability with respect to the increase in number of attributes of the synthesized agents. In order to overcome these shortcomings, we propose a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation based approach. Partial views of the joint distribution of agent’s attributes that are available from various data sources can be used to simulate draws from the original distribution. The real population from Swiss census is used to compare the performance of simulation based synthesis with the standard IPF. The standard root mean square error statistics indicated that even the worst case simulation based synthesis (SRMSE=0.35) outperformed the best case IPF synthesis (SRMSE=0.64). We also used this methodology to generate the synthetic population for Brussels, Belgium where the data availability was highly limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Farooq, Bilal & Bierlaire, Michel & Hurtubia, Ricardo & Flötteröd, Gunnar, 2013. "Simulation based population synthesis," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 243-263.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:58:y:2013:i:c:p:243-263
    DOI: 10.1016/j.trb.2013.09.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Assaf, A. George & Gillen, David & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2014. "Understanding relative efficiency among airports: A general dynamic model for distinguishing technical and allocative efficiency," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 18-34.
    2. Tsionas, Efthymios & Assaf, A. George & Gillen, David & Mattila, Anna S., 2017. "Modeling technical and service efficiency," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 113-125.
    3. Saadi, Ismaïl & Mustafa, Ahmed & Teller, Jacques & Farooq, Bilal & Cools, Mario, 2016. "Hidden Markov Model-based population synthesis," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 1-21.
    4. Yan Ma & Zhenjiang Shen & Dinh Thanh Nguyen, 2016. "Agent-Based Simulation to Inform Planning Strategies for Welfare Facilities for the Elderly: Day Care Center Development in a Japanese City," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 19(4), pages 1-5.
    5. ANTONI Jean-Philippe & VUIDEL Gilles & KLEIN Olivier, 2017. "Generating a located synthetic population of individuals, households, and dwellings," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-07, LISER.

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