Bacon awarded fellowship to develop transportation model

Published: Sep 8, 2014 5:00:00 PM
Media Contact: Morgan Stashick, stashml@auburn.edu , 334-844-3591

Benjamin Bacon, doctoral student in Auburn University’s Department of Civil Engineering, is on the right track to produce findings to better analyze travel behavior. Bacon was granted one of 10 Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Graduate Research Award Fellowships, an honor sponsored by the Transportation Research Board and the Federal Aviation Administration and administered through the ACRP.

Over the next year, he will work with Jeffrey LaMondia, assistant professor of civil engineering, and two mentors assigned by the program to develop a model using data from the 2013 Longitudinal Survey of Overnight Travel that better predicts the behavior of a traveler.

Bacon’s approach will consider multiple trips over a year, rather than singular events as in past research.

“The behaviors that will be predicted will be defined prior to modeling using cluster analysis of the survey data,” said Bacon. “This will allow us to find significant groups of travelers that exhibit similar behavior. Subsequently we can develop a model to predict the behavior ‘group’ that a traveler belongs to using traveler, geographic and temporal characteristics. This approach will better enable industry representatives to promote services, focus funds, develop schedules and meet market demands with greater effectiveness.”    

Bacon’s fellowship provides $10,000 in funding awarded after the completion of a research paper of his findings and the opportunity to present his work at the national Transportation Research Board conference in January 2016. The annual conference is held in the Washington D.C. and attracts more than 10,000 leaders in the transportation industry from across the U.S. and abroad representing state, local and federal agencies.

The ACRP is an industry driven, applied research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators. It is designed to encourage applied research on airport and related aviation system problems while fostering the next generation of aviation community leaders.

Contributed by Valerie Cashin