Modeling traveler choice behavior using the concepts of relative utility and relative interest

Junyi Zhang*, Harry Timmermans, Aloys Borgers, Donggen WANG

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    Individual choice behavior usually involves a complex decision-making process, and is often context-dependent reflecting the influence of choice environment and the fact that the individual has limited information processing ability and varying levels of interest in alternatives. However, the existing models in transportation have not represented these behavioral mechanisms satisfactorily, although to avoid the Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives (IIA) property of the widely used multinomial logit (MNL) model, a variety of non-IIA models have been suggested in the literature. This paper will propose another random utility choice model by introducing the concepts of relative utility and relative interest. A revised MNL model and a revised Nested-MNL model will be developed. Both of these models do not have the IIA property. The performance of these new models will be assessed using conjoint-based activity diary data about the choice of destination and stop pattern.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)215-234
    Number of pages20
    JournalTransportation Research, Part B: Methodological
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Transportation

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Context dependence
    • IIA property
    • R-MNL model
    • R-NL model
    • Relative interest
    • Relative utility


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