Sample of Research Projects by K. Goulias as the Principal Investigator

Development of Next‐Generation Agent Based Simulation. Sponsor: University of California Office of the President (January 2009 to June 2012)

In this project, realistic agents are created using observed and reported data from persons and their households including a variety of time use, activity participation, and travel surveys combined with large databases available from public agencies and private companies. Also key is the inclusion of weekly rhythms in the life of people, their interactions with other people within their strongest and most influential social network (i.e., the household), and people’s complex interactions with the built environment. In this project, different modeling techniques are developed, tested, evaluated, and implemented to demonstrate them in applications. This project will generate a base suite of tested models, provide core information for many new research proposals, strengthen the GeoTrans laboratory at UCSB, and offer unique opportunities for our graduate students as they pursue modeling and simulation careers.


SCAG Activity Based Travel Demand Model Developmen. Development of SimAGENT.  In collaboration with UT Austin (C. Bhat) and Arizona State University (R. Pendyala).  Funding provided by Southern California Association of Governments. (April 2009 to December 2012).

In this two phase project the requirements of California Senate Bill 375 and the regional transportation modeling guidelines will be addressed by developing an activity scheduling model system and insert it into the overall model system of SCAG .  The first phase aims at creating a short term solution and the second phase envisions a more precise and accurate model.  This is a pragmatic solution that uses CEMDAP (Comprehensive Econometric Microsimulator for Daily Activity-travel Patterns).  In phase 2 a new tool is designed and interfaced with a variety of other regional models. The policy tool produced at the end of this project is named SimAGENT (Simulator of Activities, Greenhouse Emissions, Networks, and Travel).  The region has six counties, 188 cities, 14 subregions, 38,000 square miles and approximately 19 million residents. Key elements include a synthetic population generator and an evolutionary engine and models that account for the complex interactions among persons and their environment.


A GIS-based Tool for Forecasting the Travel Demands of Demographic Groups within California – An Optimal Resource Allocation Tool Project:  PATH Task Orders 5110 & 6110. Submitted to the California Department of Transportation. Completed October 2008.

The overall objective of this project is to develop an optimal resource allocation tool for the entire state of California using Geographic Information Systems and widely available data sources.  As this tool evolves it will be used to make investment decisions in transportation infrastructure while accounting for their spatial and social distribution of impacts.  Two parallel analytical tracks are a statewide macroanalysis (called the zonal based approach herein) and an individual and household based microanalysis (called the person based approach herein).  In the statewide macroanalysis we study efficiency and equity in resource allocation.  Resources are intended as infrastructure availability and access to activity participation offered by the combined effect of transportation infrastructure and land use measured by indicators of accessibility.  Stochastic frontiers are used to study efficiency and a particular type of inequality measurement called the Theil fractal inequality index is used to study equity in the macroanalysis.  The outcome of this analysis are maps identifying places in California that enjoy higher levels of service when compared to the entire state and places which succeeded in allocating resources in a relatively better way than others.  In the individual microanalysis we use the accessibility indicators from the macronalysis and expand them by defining a new set of indicators at a second level of spatial (dis)aggregation. Then we use them as explanatory factors of travel behavior with focus on the use of different travel models (e.g., driving alone, use of public transportation and so forth).  As expected infrastructure availability and accessibility to activity opportunities has a significant and substantive effect on the use of different modes.


Prospects of the Baby Boomers Travel Behavior: A qualitative and quantitative analysis

Funding provided by the Federal Highway Administration and the Puget Sound Regional Council

In this project a combination of qualitative with quantitative longitudinal data are used to understand the prospects of baby boomers as they reach retirement age.  Qualitative data were extracted from a four session battery of focus groups that include recent retirees and soon to retire persons that were recruited from within the sample in the Puget Sound Transportation Panel (PSTP).  Then, using as guidance published literature and the focus group themes, PSTP data analysis confirmed, contradicted, and complemented the focus group findings.  The project also includes a short section analyzing behavioral change and its determinants.    


Altruistic and Selfish Behavior in Activity and Travel

Funding provided by the United States Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation,  and the University of California

In this project altruism in everyday life is examined to identify fundamental motivations for every day behavior expressed in time allocation to activities and travel.  The project is a continuation of the CentreSIM model building work at the Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center.      


Developing an Activity-based Model for Southern California Association of Governments

Funding provided by Southern California Association of Governments

In this project reviews of activity-based approaches for research and practice are examined first.  Then, a model system tailored to the SCAG needs is designed and refined to meet the region's goals.  At the end of the project a request for proposals is written in anticipation of ongoing work in activity-based modeling and simulation at SCAG.