PhD Scholarship in Dynamic Traffic Assignment with Integrated Behavioural Modelling

A fully-funded PhD fellowship in applied mathematics is available at Technical University of Denmark. Applications should be sent before August 31, 2019.

DTU Management at the Technical University of Denmark invites applications for a 3-year PhD position in the Network modelling group of the division of Transport. The topic of the project concerns developing Dynamic Traffic Assignment models that embed realistic and consistent behavioural modelling.

Transport networks have been shown to highly influence the way people organise their lives. In order to optimise the daily operation and to maximise the benefits of potential infrastructure investments (e.g., road pricing, new roads), it is thus crucial that the decision process is supported by a well-functioning traffic assignment model. This model should give a realistic representation of the route choices of travellers as well as the network conditions.

Models for traffic assignment that embed behaviourally realistic route choice have been developed and applied. These have however mainly been static models. Such models fail to capture the temporal dimension of congestion, thus hindering accounting for the effects of such variations in the route choice and the overall results. Applying static models in urban areas with evident congestion introduces bias and leads to unrealistic predictions of network conditions and effects.

On the other hand, disaggregate models for dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) have also been developed. Opposed to the static models, these manages to capture the temporal variations of travel demand. This provides better predictions of travel times and network conditions in urban areas. However, all such models are based on overly simplified route choice criteria and often simulation. This leads to inconsistencies, behaviourally unrealistic route choices and unrealistic predictions of network conditions.

In this project you will work closely with the supervisory team on bridging the gap between the two research directions.

The aim of the project is to implement state-of-the-art behaviourally realistic route choice models into DTA models. Only thereby is it possible to analyse correctly the impacts of infrastructure investments (e. g. , introduction of road pricing or construction of new infrastructure) or optimize daily operation (e. g. , provide traveller information or adapt signal plans). Developing such a model is however not trivial, but if done consistently it will induce realistic predictions of the temporal dynamics of route choice, network travel times and flows. You will work closely with the supervisory team on tackling this challenge. During the project, we will give methodological contributions by formulating a novel consistent model framework that embeds realistic behavioural models based on e. g. Random Utility Theory into disaggregate theoretically well-explained models for dynamic traffic assignment in congested areas. We will also give practical and empirical contributions by developing and implementing corresponding efficient solution algorithms and applying these for large-scale real-life cases.

This project is a partnership with the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion), and the student is expected to do an extended research visit to Technion.

Candidates should have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.


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