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Data Fusion: HTS with other Data Sources
What is the problem?
As the type and variety of alternative
sources of travel behavior data become more prominent and the costs of
collecting travel behavior data by conventional means increase, there is
significant interest in identifying and exploring analyses of this data in
conjunction with traditional household travel survey data. Preliminary studies have shown that it is possible
to fuse traditional household diary data with these alternative data sources
and point to the potential for the resultant data to inform travel demand
models. The fused data is also
anticipated to strengthen our understanding of travel behavior for both local
and long-distance travel, particularly with respect to variation in travel over
both short and long periods of time.
Why is this a problem?
Household travel survey data informs
many policy questions and provides travel behavior data to support travel
demand model development. The more advanced travel demand models require more
detailed and accurate data than the general public is willing to provide,
leading to costly survey designs with low response rates and underrepresentation
of important portions of the population.
Many believe that alternative data sources can be used to expand and
enhance the understanding of travel behavior, providing the advanced travel
demand models with in-depth data.
Alongside the interest and opportunity
of leveraging these two data sources are several challenges that require
investigation. Most notably, the
potential to incorporate fused data into the travel models is becoming a
reality, but the area is still undefined with respect to acceptance criteria by
the federal funding sources (namely FTA and FHWA). Another challenge is that most studies have
been in smaller scale with a limited application. Therefore, a solid research
effort is needed to demonstrate that fused data and supporting imputation
efforts can produce information that is reasonably close to the ground truth. This would help agencies that may be
interested in exploring and adopting data fusion but have the challenge of
justifying the expense of the alternative data sources and educating their decision
makers who must approve the investment.
What is the research need?
Two areas of research are needed:
- A solid synthesis and understanding of what we know and
do not know about data fusion specifically with respect to HTS data. What are the alternative data sources
available and which are the best “fit” with the diary data? What are the
opportunities for new data sources and what are the barriers or risks
threatening the quality and sustainability of the currently available data
sources? What are the lessons learned from the proof of concept and
smaller scale applications? What
analyses can benefit from the fused data?
- Guidance and direction from oversight agencies and
oversight boards. What aspects of data fusion need to be proven or
explored in order to secure approval for use in models and funding to
purchase alternative data sources? What is the value of data fusion and
how can we educate decision-makers and make them more comfortable with
results based on fused data?
|Sponsoring Committee:||ABJ40, Travel Survey Methods
|RNS Developer:||Authors: Mario Cools, Michelle Lee, Cemal Ayvalik, Josie Kressner|
|Index Terms:||Data sources, Data fusion, Travel behavior, Travel diaries, Travel surveys, Travel demand, |
Data and Information Technology|
Planning and Forecasting
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