Netherlands: PhD Design and decision support systems – ICT and activity-based analysis

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New forms of teleworking and the provision
of travel information (both pre route and en-route) will likely
influence the way individuals and households organize their activities
in time and space. Travel information and location-based services allow
travellers to make better informed decisions about the choices they
have and reduce the uncertainty about various types of attributes
influencing their decisions. Likewise, travel guidance systems will
imply that travellers experience new and different options. All of this
should be viewed in a dynamic context as travellers learn about their
spatial and travel environment. The feasibility of activity-travel
patterns depends largely on the spatial distributions of land use (and
the time space constraints/accessibility involved) and on institutional
factors such as office and shopping centre opening hours. Thus, due to
increasing congestion, less reliable travel times and the impact of
various forms of ICT, individuals and households are likely to change
or are advised/stimulated to change one or more characteristics of
their activity-travel patterns (destination, timing, transport mode,
task allocation etc.). In turn this may impact the market potential of
facilities, triggering supply side dynamics. Little is know about the
intensity and nature of such changes. Moreover, current activity-based
models of activity-travel patterns do not incorporate such dynamics yet
(Arentze and Timmermans, 2007).

Research design
goal of this research project is to examine likely spatial
externalities of new forms of teleworking and travel information
provision (personal and public; descriptive and prescriptive). To that
effect an agent-based simulation model will be developed, building on
the models available in Eindhoven. It simulates first the impact of new
forms of teleworking on changes in activity-travel patterns, and in
turn changes in these patterns are used to simulate the impact on
changing spatial and temporal demand.

a stated adaptation and real world study will be designed to collect
data on how individuals and households adapt their activity-travel
patterns in the context of respectively new forms of telecommuting and
various kinds of travel information. The survey will be a panel survey.
ICT technology will be used to trace the activity-travel patterns of
respondents. This will be supplemented by prompted recall via the Web.
Next, the collected data on adaptation patterns will be analyzed using
Bayesian networks as this method allows estimating both direct and
indirect effects between the various factors and in addition allows
simulating behavioural change as a function of new
evidence/experiences. Thirdly, using these Bayesian belief networks,
spatial externalities can be identified. It will lead to conclusions
with respect to changing destination for conducting particular
activities.  In turn, this will be used in a series of performance
indicators allowing one to judge different urban scenarios. Finally,
the agent-based simulation model will be applied to evaluate different


University Graduate

The candidate
should possess a master degree and a good background in research
methods, statistical analyses and computer programming.

Further requirements:

  • Demonstrated interest in scientific research
  • Proficiency in English writing and speaking
  • Highly motivated to conduct academic research
  • Team spirit


Technische Universiteit Eindhoven Department of Architecture, Building and Planning

The Department offers a BSc in Building Science
(Bouwkunde) and MSc programmes in Architecture, Building and Planning,
Building Services and Construction Management and Engineering. Research
is design and application oriented, based on fundamental scientific
insights and methods.


Conditions of employment

Estimated maximum salary per month: eur 2500 – 3000
Employment basis: Temporary for specified period
Duration of the contract: 4 jaar
Maximum hours per week: 40

Additional Information

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

Prof.dr. Harry Timmermans
Telephone number: +31(0)402472274
Or additional information can be obtained through one of the following links.

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You can apply for this job before 01-11-2008 by sending your application to:

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
VRT 2.09
F. van der Heijden
Postbus 513
5600 MB Eindhoven
E-mail address:

When applying for this job always mention the vacancy number V38.539.


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