An analysis of instability in a departure time choice problem

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This study performs a theoretical analysis of instability in a departure time choice problem. Stability of equilibrium is an important factor for reliability of travel time. If equilibrium is not stable, travel time changes over a period of days even if demand and network performance are stable. This study examines the stability of a dynamic user equilibrium problem by using the departure time choice problem. The mechanism of day-to-day changes in a traveller's behaviour is determined first, and then a function that indicates dissimilarity to equilibrium is defined. The day-to-day changes in the dissimilarity function are mathematically examined using approximations. A numerical test is also carried out to verify the result. Results of these analyses show that there can be a case where the system does not converge to equilibrium. It is also indicated that this instability should be caused by the non-monotonicity of the schedule cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-358
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Advanced Transportation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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