Title

ANALYSIS OF TRAVEL BEHAVIOR USING SEQUENCE ALIGNMENT METHODS

Authors

C Wilson

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1998

Subject Area

planning - methods

Keywords

Travel patterns, Travel behavior, Sociodemographic characteristics, Social factors, Sequencing, Sequence alignment methods, Multivariate analysis, Diurnal variations, Design methods, Demographics, Daily activity patterns, Daily, Alinement, Alignment

Abstract

Sequence alignment methods are applied to daily activity data derived from the Statistics Canada 1992 General Social Survey on Time Use, with special emphasis on travel episodes and the activities that generate travel. Sequence alignment is a combinatorial procedure that gives a quantitative measure of the similarity of character sequences, which may be used to represent daily activity patterns. It accommodates all the details supplied from activity diaries including the ordering of activity episodes, their duration, and patterns of transitions from one activity to another. Analysis of daily activity patterns by using such methods offers a new way of improving understanding of travel behavior. Such an understanding is especially critical when public transport policy is being driven increasingly by budget constraints, and traffic management through congestion is considered an acceptable response to increasing travel demands. The method successfully identifies groupings of behavioral patterns, which then may be further described by using multivariate analysis of sociodemographic characteristics. A key issue in the application of the method is to determine the circumstances in which activity sequences should or should not reflect episode duration.