A multivariate ordered-response model system for adults' weekday activity episode generation by activity purpose and social context

Italo Meloni; Nazneen Ferdous; Naveen Eluru; Chandra Bhat
Transportation Research Part B: Methodological 44(8-9), pp. 922-943

This paper proposes a multivariate ordered-response system framework to model the interactions in non-work activity episode decisions across household and non-household members at the level of activity generation. Such interactions in activity decisions across household and non-household members are important to consider for accurate activity-travel pattern modeling and policy evaluation. The econometric challenge in estimating a multivariate ordered-response system with a large number of categories is that traditional classical and Bayesian simulation techniques become saddled with convergence problems and imprecision in estimates, and they are also extremely cumbersome if not impractical to implement. We address this estimation problem by resorting to the technique of composite marginal likelihood (CML), an emerging inference approach in the statistics field that is based on the classical frequentist approach, is very simple to estimate, is easy to implement regardless of the number of count outcomes to be modeled jointly, and requires no simulation machinery whatsoever.The empirical analysis in the paper uses data drawn from the 2007 American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and provides important insights into the determinants of adults' weekday activity episode generation behavior. The results underscore the substantial linkages in the activity episode generation of adults based on activity purpose and accompaniment type. The extent of this linkage varies by individual demographics, household demographics, day of the week, and season of the year. The results also highlight the flexibility of the CML approach to specify and estimate behaviorally rich structures to analyze inter-individual interactions in activity episode generation.