Explaining Activity-Based Models to a General Audience

Travel model results often require additional interpretation and explanation to a non-technical audience. Because activity-based models are costly to implement and explain it is important to carefully convey how their functionality differs from other methods

Here are some ways that modelers have successfully explained activity-based models:

  • Develop novel visual plots and animations that explain the outputs. The graphic below shows modelled vehicle miles traveled per person by home parcel in Seattle. Prepare a comparable graphic using a trip based model and demonstrate the value of the added precision. Examples of video animations can be found at www.youtube.com/ARCModeling (opens new window)

400 px|Modelled Vehicle Miles Traveled per Person by Home Parcel in Seattle

  • Compare to a familiar videogame simulation. Explain how a game, such as SimCity, evolves based on decisions made by the player.
  • Translate the model results into a familiar story. Follow the day in the life of one your model residents to show how the model is synthesizing actual choices.