Activity-Travel behavior modeling methods and applications

This workshop has ended. This workshop will be held again in Spring 2021.
Thank you for your interest in this workshop. ​

Important Note: This professional development workshop took place as scheduled. There was no change in plans and all students and attendees participated in the entire week-long workshop/course. The class followed all health and safety guidelines very strictly. Please visit this site for information and useful links. This was the last in-person course taught at ASU before the institution transitioned to online/remote instruction in response to the COVID-19 spread.

Workshop Schedule

Start: Monday, March 9, 2020 at 10:00 AM
End: Friday, March 13, 2020 at 3:00 PM
Location: Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85281
Room: Wrigley Hall, Room L1-04, 800 South Cady Mall

Registration Deadline (closed): Friday, March 6, 2020

​Registration for the workshop is handled online via credit card payment. If you or your organization needs an invoice to make the payment or cannot make a credit card registration payment online, please contact Megan Pratt at [email protected] for assistance. Alternative payment methods may be accommodated by special request. Registration fee payment must be received prior to workshop participation. Workshop registration fees are as follows (valid through March 6):

  • Regular Fee: $1,495
  • Reduced Fee (Public Agencies, Universities, Government): $995

Workshop Sponsorship opportunities are available.
For workshop sponsorship information and benefits, please contact Megan Pratt at [email protected].

Workshop Description

TOMNET is offering a five-day workshop (equivalent to a graduate-level course) that provides in-depth coverage of activity-travel behavior analysis methods with an emphasis on the specification, estimation, and application of activity-based travel behavior models for policy-making. The course covers a variety of statistical and econometric methods that are used in research and practice for modeling, understanding, explaining, and forecasting activity-travel demand. Students will be taught how to deploy statistical and econometric choice models in a microsimulation environment. The course covers emerging techniques for simulating traveler choices and forecasting travel demand under a wide variety of socio-economic, demographic, built environment, modal, and network scenarios. Attendees will undertake hands-on exercises in the estimation of activity-travel behavior models, population synthesis, model application in a forecasting mode, and interpretation and use of the model outputs for transportation planning and policy analyses. Topics covered in the course include linear and count regression models, multinomial and nested logit models, ordered probit/logit models, multiple discrete-continuous extreme value models, population synthesis, and model application in a microsimulation environment. Attendees will hear from specially invited guest speakers and work with open source activity modeling tools.

The reference book for the course is:
Washington, S., M.G. Karlaftis, F.L. Mannering, and P. Anastasopoulos (2020) Statistical and Econometric Methods for Transportation Data Analysis. CRC Press, 3rd Edition. All professional development workshop participants will receive a complimentary copy of this book as part of their course registration fee payment.

Please note that this is an interactive workshop intended to provide a rich learning experience for participants.  Workshop  attendees will participate in a number of hands-on exercises on each day of the workshop. Participants will use R codes and open source microsimulation modeling tools (e.g., PopGen for Population Synthesis) to exercise methods learned in class.  All participants are requested to bring a reasonably up-to-date laptop computer and ensure they have full administrative rights on the machine to install software (R, R Studio, Python, and PopGen).   



 Prof. Ram M. Pendyala

Prof. Ram M. Pendyala

The primary instructor of the workshop is Professor Ram M. Pendyala, an internationally renowned expert in activity-based microsimulation approaches to travel demand forecasting and modeling traveler behavior and values. Dr. Pendyala is a professor of transportation systems in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University and Director of TOMNET, a USDOT-funded Tier 1 University Transportation Center. Dr. Pendyala has nearly 30 years of experience in travel demand forecasting and travel behavior modeling, and is internationally recognized for his contributions in the development and deployment of microsimulation approaches for predicting activity-travel patterns under a wide variety of scenarios. He has published extensively in the literature and has served as the Chair of the Transportation Research Board Planning and Environment Group (2015-2018), Travel Analysis Methods Section (2009-2015), and Traveler Behavior and Values Committee (2003-2009). He has also served as the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer of the International Association for Travel Behaviour Research (IATBR).

Guest Instructors

Dr. Sara Khoeini

Dr. Sara Khoeini

Dr. Sara Khoeini is an Assistant Research Professor at Arizona State University and serves as the Assistant Director for the TOMNET University Transportation Center.  She is an expert in travel modeling and has her PhD from Georgia Tech.  Dr. Khoeini has extensive experience in estimating choice models, designing behavioral surveys, and implementing travel forecasting systems.  Dr. Khoeini is currently undertaking large-scale research efforts to understand the potential impacts of emerging transportation technologies and mobility options and implement new modeling methods to account for transformative mobility paradigms.

Shivam Sharda

Shivam Sharda

Shivam Sharda is a PhD student and Graduate Research Associate in the TOMNET University Transportation Center at Arizona State University.  Shivam is an expert in travel behavior modeling and has been developing integrated models of transport and energy as part of his dissertation research.  He has extensive experience coding in R and has implemented a number of data analysis and model estimation codes in R.  Shivam is developing integrated behavioral models to aid in transportation decision-making and advance sustainable transportation development. 

Taehooie Kim

Taehooie Kim

Taehooie Kim is a PhD student and Graduate Research Associate in the TOMNET University Transportation Center at Arizona State University.  Taehooie is an expert in developing new algorithms and modeling tools for travel demand forecasting.  He is an expert in the application of machine learning methods to analyze big data and derive predictive analytics to inform decision-making.  Taehooie is an expert in population synthesis and has been working recently on the integration of openAMOS (open source activity-mobility simulator) and DTALite (open source dynamic traffic assignment model). 

Dr. Vladimir Livshits

Dr. Vladimir Livshits

Dr. Vladimir Livshits is Director of Transportation Technologies and Services at Maricopa Association of Governments. He has led the development and implementation of a new activity-based travel modeling system at the agency and has extensive experience in advancing best practices in activity-travel modeling. Over the past dozen years at MAG, Dr. Livshits has led the development of many new innovative modeling tools and methods.  In addition, he has implemented a number of novel data collection methods, including the use of passive data for transportation systems analysis.  

Workshop Agenda

The workshop offers a comprehensive and state-of-the-art/practice coverage of estimation, calibration, and application of activity-based travel demand modeling tools and components.  The workshop content is organized as follows:


Day 1
Introduction to activity-based travel demand modeling; foundations of microsimulation-based paradigms and agent-based models; description of selected activity-based travel demand modeling systems and theories
Updating activity-travel models to incorporate emerging transportation technologies and mobility options, and behavioral/generational and attitudinal shifts
Fundamentals of behavioral data exploration and hypothesis testing; statistical analysis of data
Tutorial: Exploring travel behavior data; importance and assessment of data quality and representativeness; hands-on exercise in travel data analysis, survey data manipulation, and hypothesis testing
Project/Quiz: Statistical analysis and characterization of activity-travel behavior for different market segments
Day 2
Linear regression models of travel demand; parameter estimation and interpretation
Residual analysis and assessment of violation of assumptions underlying linear regression models
Count models – Poisson, Negative Binomial, Zero-inflated Poisson, and Zero-inflated Negative Binomial regression models
​Definition and formulation of expected values, elasticities, and marginal effects
Tutorial: Estimation of linear regression and count regression models, including zero-inflated count regression models; residual analysis and model assessment
Project/Quiz: Linear and count regression model estimation and interpretation
Day 3
Overview of choice model components in activity-based model systems
Review of discrete choice modeling methods; maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) approach
​Multinomial logit model, nested logit model, and ordered probit/logit model
Application of discrete choice models in forecasting mode (microsimulation of choices for individual agents)
Tutorial: Estimation of discrete choice model components using household travel survey data; interpretation of model outputs
Project/Quiz: Discrete choice model estimation and interpretation
Day 4
Discrete-continuous choice modeling methods; multiple discrete-continuous choice processes; model formulation and error assumptions
Estimation of multiple discrete-continuous extreme value (MDCEV) model; modeling tour structure/composition and vehicle fleet composition
Application of MDCEV model in forecasting mode; demonstration of vehicle fleet composition (VFC) model package
Tutorial: Estimation of multiple discrete-continuous extreme value (MDCEV) model using household travel survey data; interpretation of model output and satiation parameters
Project/Quiz: Multiple discrete-continuous extreme value (MDCEV) model formulation; MDCEV model estimation; model output/parameter interpretation
Day 5
Synthetic population generation; importance of population synthesis for activity-based travel modeling
Description of PopGen synthetic population software package; detailed explanation of methodology and approach embedded in PopGen
​Activity-based microsimulation model system of travel demand (openAMOS); demonstration of openAMOS
Data needs for activity-based travel demand model development and calibration
Other topics (time permitting): freight modeling, implementation of activity-based travel models in practice, incorporating new and emerging modes and technologies in travel models
Tutorial: Application of PopGen for population synthesis; setup of input data; identification of household and person level controls; identification of spatial unit of geography; goodness of fit of synthetic population
Project/Quiz: Population synthesis using PopGen

Workshop Logistics

The workshop will be held in Wrigley Hall (Room L1-04), home of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) at Arizona State University on the Tempe Campus.  The building is located near the southwest corner of S College Avenue and E University Drive.  The official address of the building is 800 South Cady Mall, Tempe, Arizona 85281, USA.  Parking is available in the Fulton Center Parking Garage, located close to the northeast corner of S College Avenue and E University Drive.  The ASU campus may also be accessed by light rail, with a light rail station located a short 5-10 minute walk away at the intersection of S College Avenue and Veterans Way.  This light rail station is located at the intermodal Tempe Transportation Center.  A map showing the location of the building, parking garage, and light rail station is available here.


Travel and Accommodation

Tempe is located in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan areaArizona State University is located just 15-20 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. An alternative airport is the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Travelers coming into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will be able to use the light rail to reach the workshop venue.  Alternative ground transportation options including ride-hailing services (Uber, Lyft), regular taxi services, and Supershuttle services. Travelers wishing to rent a car should follow the signs to the Rental Car Center; all major rental car companies serve the Greater Phoenix market. Parking on the ASU campus costs $15 per day.  In the spirit of promoting sustainable transportation mode use, the workshop does not validate or cover parking charges. Attendees are responsible for parking charges if they choose to drive and park.

Accommodation is available for participants in a number of hotels located within a short distance of the workshop location, and all along the light rail line. Workshop participants are responsible to make their own hotel accommodation arrangements. Accommodation is also available through AirBnBVRBOHomeAway, and other vendors. A list of candidate hotels is available here. Please note that hotel costs are high during mid-March due to baseball spring training in full swing and the beautiful March weather in the region.  Attendees should shop around and try to find the best deals for hotel accommodation.



​​For information and assistance, please contact any of the following:

Sara Khoeini
Assistant Director, TOMNET
Ph: 480-965-5047
Email: [email protected]
Meg Pratt
Administrative Coordinator, TOMNET
Ph: 480-965-5166
Email: [email protected]
Ram M. Pendyala
Director, TOMNET
Ph: 480-727-4587
Email: [email protected]


Workshop (Pre)Registration (closed)

Please register for the workshop as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made and reference books can be ordered in time.  Payment is required before attendees can participate in and attend the workshop.  No refunds are provided in the event of a cancellation.  This workshop will not be cancelled by ASU because it is a regular graduate course that is taken by ASU graduate students.  Workshop participants will get to study, collaborate, and interact with ASU transportation graduate students, creating a rich learning environment.  ASU degree seeking students should enroll in the course through the regular course enrollment process to obtain course credit.  Only individuals who are NOT ASU students can register for this course as a professional development workshop.  Individuals (who are non-ASU students) interested in taking this course for university credit and grade should consider registering as a non-degree seeking student. Regular ASU tuition and fees will apply and course registration is handled through the regular ASU course registration process (not through this professional development workshop process).  Attendees participating in the professional development workshop through TOMNET will receive a certificate of attendance (but will NOT receive university credit or grade).  Complete 100% attendance is required to receive the TOMNET certificate of participation.  Please contact Ram Pendyala at [email protected] for any questions regarding workshop registration or course enrollment options.