, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 429-456

An Exploration of the Relationship between Timing and Duration of Maintenance Activities

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Abstract

The timing and duration of an activity episode are two important temporal aspects of activity-travel behavior. Understanding the causal relationship between these two variables would be useful in the development of activity-based travel demand modeling systems. This paper investigates the relationship between these two variables by considering two different causal structures – one structure in which time-of-day choice is determined first and influences duration and a second structure in which activity duration is determined first and affects time-of-day choice. These two structures are estimated within a discrete-continuous simultaneous equations framework employing a full-information maximum likelihood methodology that allows error covariance. The estimation is performed separately for commuter and non-commuter samples drawn from a 1996 household travel survey data set from the Tampa Bay area in Florida. The results of the model estimation effort show that the causal structure in which activity duration precedes or affects activity timing (time of day choice) performs better for the non-commuter sample. For the commuter sample, the findings were less conclusive with both causal structures offering equally good statistical measures of fit. In addition, for the commuter sample, all error correlations were found to be zero. These two findings suggest that time of day choice and activity episode duration are only loosely related for the commuter sample, possibly due to the relatively non-discretionary and inflexible work activity and travel.