Confidence interval estimation for path flow estimator

Piya Chootinan, Anthony Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The uncertainty of an origin-destination (O-D) trip table estimate is affected by two factors: (i) the multiplicity of solutions due to the underspecified nature of the problem, and (ii) the errors of traffic counts. In this paper, a confidence interval estimation procedure for path flow estimator (PFE) is developed for assessing the quality of O-D trip tables estimated from traffic counts. The confidence interval estimation consists of two parts: (i) a generalized demand scale (GDS) measure for quantifying the intrinsic underspecified nature of the O-D estimation problem at various spatial levels, and (ii) an error bound to quantify the contribution of input errors (traffic counts) to the estimation results. Numerical results using PFE as the O-D estimator show that the proposed confidence interval estimation procedure is able to separate the two sources of uncertainty in constructing the confidence intervals at various spatial levels. Simulation results also confirm that the proposed quality measure indeed contain the true estimates within the defined confidence intervals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1680-1698
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Confidence interval
  • Origin-destination estimation
  • Path flow estimator
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Stochastic user equilibrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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