A latent class accelerated hazard model of social activity duration


Berg, van den, P.E.W., Arentze, T.A. & Timmermans, H.J.P. (2012). A latent class accelerated hazard model of social activity duration. Transportation Research. Part A: Policy and Practice, 46(1), 12-21. In Scopus Cited 16 times.

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Over the past decade, activity scheduling processes have gained increasing attention in the field of transportation research. However, still little is known about the scheduling of social activities even though these activities account for a large and growing portion of trips. This paper contributes to this knowledge. We analyze how the duration of social activities is influenced by social activity characteristics and characteristics of the relationship between the respondent and the contacted person(s). To that end, a latent class accelerated hazard model is estimated, based on social interaction diary data that was collected in the Netherlands in 2008. Chi-square tests and analyses of variance are used to test for significant relations between the latent classes and personal and household characteristics. Findings suggest that the social activity characteristics and the characteristics of the relationship between the socializing persons are highly significant in explaining social activity duration. This shows that social activities should not be considered as a homogenous set of activities and it underlines the importance of including the social context in travel–behavior models. Moreover, the results indicate that there is a substantial amount of latent heterogeneity across the population. Four latent classes are identified, showing different social activity durations, and different effects for both categories of explanatory variables. Latent class membership can be explained by household composition, socio-economic status (education, income and work hours), car ownership and the number of interactions in 2 days.