Modeling Household Activity-Travel Interactions as Parallel Constrained Choices

The daily activity-travel patterns of individuals often include interactions with other household members, which we observe in the form of joint activity participation and shared rides. Explicit representation of joint activity patterns is a widespread deficiency in extant travel forecasting models and remains a relatively under-developed area of travel behavior research. In this paper, we identify several spatially defined tour patterns found in weekday household survey data that describe this form of inter-agent decision making. Using pairs of household decision makers as our subjects, we develop a structural discrete choice model that predicts the separate, parallel choices of full-day tour patterns by both persons, subject to the higher level constraint imposed by their joint selection of one of several spatial interaction patterns, one of which may be no interaction. We apply this model to the household survey data, drawing inferences from the household and person attributes that prove to be significant predictors of pattern choices, such as commitment to work schedules, auto availability, commuting distance and the presence of children in the household. Parameterization of an importance function in the models shows that in making joint activity-travel decisions significantly greater emphasis is placed on the individual utilities of workers relative to non-workers and on the utilities of women in households with very young children. The model and methods are prototypes for tour-based travel forecasting systems to represent the complex interaction between household members in an integrated model structure.