An Agent-Based Route Choice Model

31 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2011

See all articles by Shanjiang Zhu

Shanjiang Zhu

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

David Matthew Levinson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lei Zhang

Oregon State University

Date Written: April 28, 2007


Travel demand emerges from individual decisions. These decisions, depending on individual objectives, preferences, experiences and spatial knowledge about travel, are both heterogeneous and evolutionary. Research emerging from fields such as road pricing and ATIS requires travel demand models that are able to consider travelers with distinct attributes (value of time (VOT), willingness to pay, travel budgets, etc.) and behavioral preferences (e.g. willingness to switch routes with potential savings) in a differentiated market (by tolls and the level of service). Traditional trip-based models have difficulty in dealing with the aforementioned heterogeneity and issues such as equity. Moreover, the role of spatial information, which has significant influence on decision-making and travel behavior, has not been fully addressed in existing models. To bridge the gap, this paper proposes to explicitly model the formation and spreading of spatial knowledge among travelers. An Agent-based Route Choice (ARC) model was developed to track choices of each decision-maker on a road network over time and map individual choices into macroscopic flow pattern. ARC has been applied on both Sioux Falls network and Chicago sketch network. Comparison between ARC and existing models (UE and SUE) on both networks shows ARC is valid and computationally tractable. To be brief, this paper specifically focuses on the route choice behavior, while the proposed model can be extended to other modules of travel demand under an integrated framework.

Keywords: Agent-Based Model, Route Choice, Traffic Assignment, Travel Demand Modeling

JEL Classification: R40, R41, D79, C15

Suggested Citation

Zhu, Shanjiang and Levinson, David Matthew and Zhang, Lei, An Agent-Based Route Choice Model (April 28, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Shanjiang Zhu

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

David Matthew Levinson (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lei Zhang

Oregon State University ( email )

Bexell Hall 200
Corvallis, OR 97331
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics