Spatial aggregation issues in traffic assignment models

Abstract : Cities are complex systems that urban models can help to comprehend. From simplistic models to more sophisticated ones, urban models have pushed forward our understanding the urban phenomenon and its intricacies. In this context, models can be of great value to policy makers providing that these tools become practical. In this regard, research has put little emphasis on the practicality of urban models and their use under operational conditions.To date, urban models which rely on spatial aggregation are the closest possibility to come to practical models. For this reason, the spatially aggregated modeling framework is widely used. This framework is relatively practical when compared to other modeling frameworks like microsimulation. Nevertheless, spatial aggregation is a serious source of bias in these models. This is especially the case of Land-Use and Transport Interaction (LUTI) models and more particularly of Four Step Models.The current PhD is committed to the study of spatial aggregation issues in traffic assignment models. Traffic assignment is responsable for the computation of travel times and travel conditions of present and future travel demand. Accessibility measurement, which is at the core of LUTI models, is tightly dependent on traffic assignment modeling and outcomes. Any bias in traffic assignment is likely to corrupt the overall modeling framework. In this context, a special attention is to be paid to spatial aggregation in traffic assignment models.In traffic assignment, spatial aggregation consists in grouping observations using zones or traffic analysis zones instead of using a continuous representation of space. By design, aggregation bears an implicit omission in data variability and thus a potential bias if this omission is not random. This is the case with the definition of centroid connectors and the omission of intrazonal demand in traffic assignment. With the use of zones as the basic spatial units, transport models require the use of centroid connectors to attach zones to the transportation network. Centroid connectors are introduced to model average access and egress conditions to and from the network. Nevertheless, average accessibility conditions are found to be too crude to render accurately accessibility conditions as encountered by trip makers. The current PhD explores the extent of the impact of this spatial aggregation bias in the case of transit models and suggests a new modeling strategy to overcome such modeling errors.The use of zones as spatial units induces a loss of intrazonal data. The omission of intrazonal trips in traffic assignment models is an example of such omission. This research introduces an uncertainty framework to study the statistical impact of ignoring intrazonal trips in traffic assignment models. Findings from this research are used to design new assignment strategies that are more robust towards the omission bias and more generally towards the spatial aggregation bias.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - 10:08:10 AM
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Ouassim Manout. Spatial aggregation issues in traffic assignment models. Economics and Finance. Université de Lyon, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE2014⟩. ⟨tel-02278052⟩

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