The use of computer science practices and methods for developing social simulations to stimulate changes in travellers’ mode choice

Faboya, Olusola Theophilus (2021) The use of computer science practices and methods for developing social simulations to stimulate changes in travellers’ mode choice. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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In this thesis, Computer Science practices and methods including Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence techniques are explored to incorporate Human Factors and Psychology knowledge in a structured way into agent-based models to model modal shift in a social system. Observations of peoples’ behaviours in social systems regarding choice-making suggest that they tend to have preferences among the available alternatives in many situations. Experts in the domain of Psychology have been interested in the relationships that exist between the psychological processes (factors) and peoples’ behaviours. Human Factors’ experts are concerned with, among other things, the study of factors and development of tools that improve users’ experiences. The findings from the literature suggest that the two groups have been working from the perspective of their domains without much collaboration. Also, no known framework or methodology offers the required collaborative modelling support and techniques to model people’s emotion as they traverse the system.

The aim of this thesis is, therefore, to provide modelling techniques that better support the use of Human Factors and Psychology knowledge in understanding factors that influence travellers’ decision-making in travel mode choice so as to stimulate changes in their behaviours. The support also provides collaboration among relevant stakeholders to work on modal shift project in the transport system.

The method adopted in carrying out the research reported in this thesis is informed by the descriptive, developmental, and exploratory nature of the objectives of the research. Our novel methodology which includes a framework is named MOdal SHift (MOSH) methodology. Its development process involves the use of design principles that include encapsulation, data abstraction, inheritance, and polymorphism in defining and integrating the Human Factors and Psychology practices into the methodology. The structures and behaviours of the system components are described and documented using the Unified Modelling Language (UML) as a standard specification language to promote uniform communication among a group of experts. The decision variable decomposition module and techniques for deriving travellers’ emotions that correspond to their context involved the use of the Fuzzy sets system. The methodology contains guides that include the process map diagram showing the major stages in the methodology as well as the step-by-step development guidelines.

To verify and to validate the methodology, two case studies in the transport domain are selected. The first case study aims at demonstrating the use of the framework included in the methodology for policy formulation. The second case study has the goal of demonstrating the use of the methodology for understanding individuals’ abilities to satisfy travel requirements. Data Science methods including both supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms are applied at relevant stages of the case studies.

The reflection from the cases investigated with the MOSH methodology reveals its novelty in modelling interdependencies among the transport system’s constraints and in modelling travellers’ emotional state as they traverse the transport system’s environment. In addition, the adoption of the standard specification language in the design of the methodology provides the means for easy communication and transfer of knowledge among stakeholders. The use of Software Engineering tools and methods in conjunction with the agent-based modelling paradigm in the MOSH methodology design and development phases promotes the separation of concerns for the interrelated and non-linear levels of organisation within a sociotechnical system. It also promotes extensibility of various aspect of the methodology as a result of the independence among the components and makes reusability of relevant aspects possible when there are needs to use the same functionality in a new project. The agent-based modelling paradigm provides opportunities for investigating the interactions among the agents and the environment as well as providing insights into the various complex interrelated behaviours.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Siebers, Peer-Olaf
Ryan, Brendan
Figueredo, Grazziela. P
Keywords: choice of transport, choice of transportation, travellers modes, travel modes, human factors
Subjects: H Social sciences > HE Transportation and communications
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 65233
Depositing User: Faboya, Olusola
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 04:41
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2021 04:41

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