, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 1169–1194 | Cite as

Indifference bands for boundedly rational route switching

  • Xuan Di
  • Henry X. Liu
  • Shanjiang Zhu
  • David M. Levinson


The replacement I-35W bridge in Minneapolis saw less traffic than the original bridge though it provided substantial travel time saving for many travelers. This observation cannot be explained by the classical route choice assumption that travelers always take the shortest path. Accordingly, a boundedly rational route switching model is proposed assuming that travelers will not switch to the new bridge unless travel time saving goes beyond a threshold or “indifference band”. Indifference bands are assumed to follow lognormal distribution and are estimated in two specifications: the first one assumes every driver’s indifference band is drawn from a population indifference band and the second one assumes that the mean of drivers’ indifference bands is a function of their own characteristics. Route choices of 78 subjects from a GPS travel behavior study were analyzed before and after the addition of the new I-35W bridge to estimate parameters. This study provides insights into empirical analysis of bounded rationality and sheds light on indifference band estimation using empirical data.


Bounded rationality Indifference band Empirical estimation GPS study Route choice 



The authors would like to thank the three anonymous referees for their insightful comments and constructive suggestions on the earlier version of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuan Di
    • 1
    • 2
  • Henry X. Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shanjiang Zhu
    • 3
  • David M. Levinson
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.University of Michigan Transportation Research InstituteAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil Environmental and Infrastructure EngineeringGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  4. 4.Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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