Saberi, M., Hosseini, A., Mahmassani, H., Brockmann, D. A Complex Network Perspective for Characterizing Urban Travel Demand Patterns. [Working Paper]
Urban travel demand, consisting of millions of origin-destination trips, can be viewed as a large-scale network. The paper introduces a complex network-motivated approach to understand, characterize and model urban travel demand patterns. We compare selected network characteristics of travel demand patterns in two cities, presenting a comparative network-theoretic analysis of Chicago and Melbourne. The proposed approach develops an interdisciplinary and quantitative framework to understand and model dynamical aspects of mobility in urban areas. Statistical properties of the complex network of urban trips of the selected cities are explored. We show that travel demand networks exhibit similar properties despite their differences in topography and urban structure. Results suggest that the underlying dynamical processes in travel demand networks are similar and evolved by the distribution of activities and interaction between places in cities. Results provide a first step towards a new methodological base for calibration and validation of agent-based travel demand models.