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Czado, Claudia and Prokopenko, S. (2004): Modeling Transport Mode Decisions Using Hierarchical Binary Spatial Regression Models with Cluster Effects. Collaborative Research Center 386, Discussion Paper 406 [PDF, 2MB]

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This work is motivated by a mobility study conducted in the city of Munich, Germany. The variable of interest is a binary response, which indicates whether public transport has been utilized or not. One of the central questions is to identify areas of low/high utilization of public transport after adjusting for explanatory factors such as trip, individual and household attributes. The goal is to develop flexible statistical models for a binary response with covariate, spatial and cluster effects. One approach for modeling spatial effects are Markov Random Fields (MRF). A modification of a class of MRF models with proper joint distributions introduced by Pettitt et al. (2002) is developed. This modification has the desirable property to contain the intrinsic MRF in the limit and still allows for efficient spatial parameter updates in Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms. In addition to spatial effects, cluster effects are taken into consideration. Group and individual approaches for modeling these effects are suggested. The first one models heterogeneity between clusters, while the second one models heterogeneity within clusters. A naive approach to include individual cluster effects results in an unidentifiable model. It is shown how an appropriate reparametrization gives identifiable parameters. This provides a new approach for modeling heterogeneity within clusters. For hierarchical spatial binary regression models with individual cluster effects two MCMC algorithms for parameter estimation are developed. The first one is based on a direct evaluation of the likelihood. The second one is based on the representation of binary responses with Gaussian latent variables through a threshold mechanism, which is particularly useful for probit models. Simulation results show a satisfactory behavior of the MCMC algorithms developed. Finally the proposed model classes are applied to the mobility study and results are interpreted.

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