Reliable Space-Time Prisms Under Travel Time Uncertainty

Bi Yu Chen, Qingquan Li, Donggen Wang, Shih Lung Shaw, William H.K. Lam, Hui Yuan, Zhixiang Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Time geography is a powerful framework for analyzing human activities under various space-time constraints. At the core of time geography is the concept of the space-time prism, which delimits an individual's potential activity locations in space and time. The classical space-time prism, however, admits only deterministic travel speeds and ignores the stochastic nature of travel environments. In this article, the classical space-time prism model is extended to congested road networks with travel time uncertainty. A reliable space-time prism is proposed to consider explicitly an individual's on-time arrival probability concerns in the face of travel time uncertainty. The reliable space-time prism is defined as the set of space-time locations where an individual can participate in an activity and return to his or her destination with a given on-time arrival probability. To construct such a reliable space-time prism in a road network, a solution algorithm is developed. A case study using real-world traffic information is carried out to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed prism model. The results of the case study indicate that the proposed prism model can represent well individuals' space-time taking into account various on-time arrival probability concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1502-1521
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

User-Defined Keywords

  • reliability
  • reliable space-time prism
  • time geography
  • travel behavior
  • travel time uncertainty


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