Travel Model Calibration and Validation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Travel models are used extensively to forecast travel demand and future traffic volumes under a wide variety of socioeconomic, demographic, multimodal, and technological scenarios. As infrastructure investments are often based on forecasts of future travel demand and needs, it is important to ensure that travel models reflect actual conditions in the real-world and are able to provide useful and accurate predictions of traveler behavior into the future. After travel models are estimated using survey or other data, they must be calibrated and validated to match ground truth, usually available in the form of survey data, traffic volumes, highway speeds and travel times, and bus and rail ridership by time of day. This chapter provides an overview of travel model calibration and validation techniques commonly adopted in practice, with an emphasis on the need to perform sensitivity analysis of calibrated models recognizing that such analysis can provide deep insights about the suitability of models for forecasting applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Transportation
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-7
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780081026724
ISBN (Print)9780081026717
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity-travel behavior
  • Calibration, Forecasting
  • Ground truth
  • Model parameters
  • Prediction
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Travel demand
  • Travel model
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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