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Applications of sensitivity analysis for probit stochastic network equilibrium

By S.D. Clark and D.P. Watling


Network equilibrium models are widely used by traffic practitioners to aid them in making decisions concerning the operation and management of traffic networks. The common practice is to test a prescribed range of hypothetical changes or policy measures through adjustments to the input data, namely the trip demands, the arc performance (travel time) functions, and policy variables such as tolls or signal timings. Relatively little use is, however, made of the full implicit relationship between model inputs and outputs inherent in these models. By exploiting the representation of such models as an equivalent optimisation problem, classical results on the sensitivity analysis of non-linear programs may be applied, to produce linear relationships between input data perturbations and model outputs. We specifically focus on recent results relating to the probit Stochastic User Equilibrium (PSUE) model, which has the advantage of greater behavioural realism and flexibility relative to the conventional Wardrop user equilibrium and logit SUE models. The paper goes on to explore four applications of these sensitivity expressions in gaining insight into the operation of road traffic networks. These applications are namely: identification of sensitive, ‘critical’ parameters; computation of approximate, re-equilibrated solutions following a change (post-optimisation); robustness analysis of model forecasts to input data errors, in the form of confidence interval estimation; and the solution of problems of the bi-level, optimal network design variety. Finally, numerical experiments applying these methods are reported.\u

Publisher: Elsevier Science
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

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