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New technologies such as smart phones and web applications constantly collect data on individuals' trip-making and travel patterns. Efforts at using these "Big data" products, to date, have focused on using them to expand or inform traditional travel demand modeling frameworks; however, it is worth considering if a new framework built to maximize the strengths of big data would be more useful to policy makers and planners.

In this presentation Greg Macfarlane will present a discussion on elements of travel models that could quickly benefit from big data and concurrent machine learning techniques, and results from a preliminary application of a prototype framework in Asheville, North Carolina.

Biographical Information

Dr. Macfarlane is an analyst in the Systems Analysis Group of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, developing and applying advanced travel demand models. His research and expertise includes trip-based models, activity-based models, integrated land-use/transport models, and micro-simulation of both travel demand and supply. He is an advocate of using open and robust software design principles in public projects, and is developing a pattern-based demand model as an associate with Transport Foundry. Greg is an alumnus of BYU and received graduate degrees from Georgia Tech.


Choice of transportation -- Decision making, Traffic flow -- Forecasting -- Data processing, Transportation -- Planning -- Technological innovations


Transportation Engineering | Urban Studies and Planning

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Big Data and the Future of Travel Modeling