University of Twente Student Theses


Cumulative prospect theory and High Occupancy Toll Lanes : understanding and modeling drivers' choice behavior on High Occupancy Toll Lanes

Middag, W.J. (2010) Cumulative prospect theory and High Occupancy Toll Lanes : understanding and modeling drivers' choice behavior on High Occupancy Toll Lanes.

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Abstract:High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes are a relative new approach to attack congestion and a better use for often underutilized High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. Just like HOV lanes HOT lanes lay next to the normal or General Purpose (GP) lanes. The I-95 near Miami is an example of a road with HOV lanes and a lot of congestion. The transformation to HOT lanes will give single occupancy vehicles an alternative for the congestion: if they pay a fee, they are allowed to ride on the carpool lanes, if they don’t want to pay they can still ride for free on the GP lanes. The fee depends on the number of vehicles that ride on the HOT lanes, to prevent congestion on those lanes. In the literature there are several studies that use or develop a model of HOT lanes. The goal is to find an optimal tolling strategy, finding or comparing parameter values or investigate the influence of different attributes. Almost all the models that are developed or used are based on the assumptions of the Utility Theory, namely that people are rational and try to find the optimal solution. In the 1970’s Tversky and Kahneman developed the Prospect Theory. This theory is more descriptive than the Utility Theory. Instead of a cost benefit analysis, they separate gains and losses because of the loss aversion of people, losses are much higher valued than equal gains. Therefore the prospect theory should model actual behavior better than the utility theory. In 1992 Tversky and Kahneman came up with a further development of the prospect theory: the Cumulative Prospect Theory (CPT). The difference from the original version of prospect theory is that weighting is applied to the cumulative probability distribution function, rather than to the probabilities of individual outcomes. Although HOT lanes choice is a form of route choice, there is a significant difference because there are two main factors: time and money. The choice is based on a combination of those two factors. The prospect theory is not often used in route choice models and even less with HOT lane models. Therefor a model is developed to model the choice process on HOT lanes with the Cumulative prospect theory, it is implemented in a general HOT lane model of the I-95. The model is based on the CPT model from Tversky and Kahneman and the probability weighting function comes from Prelec(1998) and is used in more route choice models. This model has the following assumptions: the reference point of people is based on their previous experience with the general purpose lanes. With people’s value of time, time and money are comparable. Losses are two times higher valued than gains. The result is a practical and usable model. The outcomes of the original and calibrated utility theory model are roughly the same as for the new CPT model. However, the parameters are not calibrated for HOT lanes but come from other route choice models or the original CPT model. There is also more study needed to the suitability of the model for other HOT lane models.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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