Managing Travel Demand: Location recommendation for system efficiency


Growth in leisure travel has become increasingly significant economically, socially, and environmentally. However, flexible but uncoordinated travel behaviors exacerbate traffic congestion. Mobile phone records not only reveal human mobility patterns, but also enable us to manage travel demand for system efficiency. We propose a location recommendation system that infers personal preferences while accounting for constraints imposed by road capacity in order to manage travel demand. We first infer unobserved preferences using a machine learning technique from phone records. We then formulate an optimization method to improve system efficiency. Coupling mobile phone data with traffic counts and road network infrastructures collected in Andorra, this study shows that uncoordinated travel behaviors lead to longer average travel delay, implying opportunities in managing travel demand by collective decisions. The interplay between congestion relief and overall satisfied location preferences observed in extensive simulations indicate that moderate sacrifices of individual utility lead to significant travel time savings. Specifically, the results show that under full compliance rate, travel delay fell by 52 percent at a cost of 31 percent less satisfaction. Under 60 percent compliance rate, 41 percent travel delay is saved with a 17 percent reduction in satisfaction.This research highlights the effectiveness of the synergy among collective behaviors in increasing system efficiency.