Seminar Series 2017

Our seminars are held from 12.00 - 1.30pm at Level 13, 140 Arthur Street, North Sydney. Please RSVP to Karla.Gatenby@unisa.edu.au. For those unable to attend, Adobe Connect will be available for all seminars, please email Karla to indicate your interest.

The 2017 Seminar Series

August 2

Title  Knowledge, skills and decision-making in urban infrastructure
Presenter

Carla-Leanne Washbourne, University College London

Affiliation www.ucl.ac.uk/steapp/people/accordion/washbourne
Abstract

'Safe, inclusive, accessible, green, and quality public spaces' is a weighty aim of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda. There is a pressing global need for robust understanding of how green urban spaces might be planned, developed and managed to greatest benefit for all. The work presented is part of an on-going project, conducted with the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, South Africa, that investigates the way in which the concept of green infrastructure is being applied in the design, development and management of urban green spaces.

Dr Carla Washbourne will present initial findings from a recent study outlining the challenges and opportunities for applying green infrastructure concepts to urban green spaces in Cape Town, Durban and the Gauteng City-Region (South Africa) and London and Birmingham (UK). This study is based upon analysis of technical and policy documents and semi-structured interviews and site visits with academics, practitioners, policy-makers and local community actors. While the study is not intended to be directly comparative between cities, common themes are investigated around sufficiency of knowledge base and knowledge sharing, financing, legacy and maintenance challenges and personal and professional perceptions affecting green infrastructure use.

The main project link can be viewed here: https://www.cityleadership.net/urban-green-infrastructure

For this seminar please RSVP to Frances.Nolan@unisa.edu.au

July 13

Title Disaggregate behavioural land use modelling
Presenter

Taha Hossein Rashidi

Affiliation University of New South Wales, Australia
Abstract

This seminar presents an overview of research projects being developed in the research team of  Dr. Rashidi in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW, with a focus on topics related to land use modelling. The link between travel demand modelling and land use modelling increasingly attracts more attention from transport and planning communities. More specifically, an integrated agent-based microsimulation platform, where people's short-term (e.g. mode choice decision) and long-term (e.g. residential location choice) decisions are modelled,  provides a bottom-up structure that is asserted to better reflect what happens in the real world. Further, such a behavioural structure is believed to be more sensitive and accurate for policy appraisal. This seminar discusses some major elements of a land use modelling framework and how they should be linked to a travel demand model. Some modelling results for residential and job relocation decisions of Australian people are also demonstrated.

July 10

Title Matching preferences or changing them? The influence of the number of choice alternatives
Presenter

Prof. Petr Mariel

Affiliation University of the Basque Country, Spain
Abstract

The number of alternatives on a choice task is a design dimension that has been found to affect respondents’ choices significantly. The preference matching effect suggests that offering more alternatives on a choice task increases the likelihood that respondents will find an attribute combination that matches their preferences better than on a choice task with fewer alternatives. However, an increasing number of alternatives can lead at the same time to increasing complexity as more comparisons are required from respondents.

As it is from the current literature not clear whether the positive or negative influences from increasing the number of alternative on a choice task predominate, we examine whether it is indeed beneficial to offer more alternatives on a choice task than is usually done. Compared to previous studies we apply a broader approach using split samples in order to compare five choice task formats that only differ with respect to the number of alternatives. It ranges across the treatments from two to six alternatives, always including a SQ alternative. The survey is concerned with the good environmental status of the Baltic Sea and the number of attributes, including cost, is six in all split samples: water clarity, fish, biodiversity, coastal protection, litter and cost. Respondents were assigned to one of the five treatments randomly and each faced eight choice tasks.

For investigating whether preference matching occurs or whether the choice task formats lead to preference changes, we present descriptive statistics about the observed choice patterns, estimate basic MNL and RPL models and apply likelihood-ratio tests to test the equality of the preference parameters, and finally simulate responses for the choice task formats with more than three alternatives based on the two alternative format as a reference. Overall, we find that the preferences elicited through the different choice task formats differ significantly. Adding more alternatives seems to result in different stated preferences indicating that the format of the choice task format has a clear effect on people’s choices. 

Cognitive neuroscientists sometimes apply formal models to investigate how the brain implements cognitive processes. These models describe behavioural data in terms of underlying, latent, variables linked to hypothesized cognitive processes. A goal of model-based cognitive neuroscience is to link these variables to brain measurements, which can advance progress in both cognitive and neuroscientific research. However, the details and the philosophical approach for this linking problem can vary greatly. We propose a continuum of approaches which differ in the degree of tight, quantitative, and explicit hypothesizing. We describe this continuum using four points along it, which we dub "qualitative structural'', "qualitative predictive'', "quantitative predictive'', and "single model'' linking approaches. We further illustrate by providing examples from three research fields (decision making, reinforcement learning, and symbolic reasoning) for the different linking approaches.

June 15

Title Different ways of linking behavioural and neural data via computational cognitive methods
Presenter

Prof. Scott Brown

Affiliation The University of Newcastle, Australia
Abstract

Cognitive neuroscientists sometimes apply formal models to investigate how the brain implements cognitive processes. These models describe behavioural data in terms of underlying, latent, variables linked to hypothesized cognitive processes. A goal of model-based cognitive neuroscience is to link these variables to brain measurements, which can advance progress in both cognitive and neuroscientific research. However, the details and the philosophical approach for this linking problem can vary greatly. We propose a continuum of approaches which differ in the degree of tight, quantitative, and explicit hypothesizing. We describe this continuum using four points along it, which we dub ``qualitative structural'', ``qualitative predictive'', ``quantitative predictive'', and ``single model'' linking approaches. We further illustrate by providing examples from three research fields (decision making, reinforcement learning, and symbolic reasoning) for the different linking approaches.

June 9 / This seminar is being presented at the Sansom Institute for Health Research 

Title Nothing about us without us: Building consumer involvement and inclusivity into the methods and application of health economics and economic evaluation
Presenter

Julie Ratcliffe

Affiliation Institute for Choice
Presentation

Julie’s presentation will focus on a suite of recently completed studies designed to promote inclusivity in the methods and application of health economics and economic evaluation including incorporating young people’s preferences into the economic evaluation of adolescent health services and incorporating the preferences of older people with cognitive impairment and dementia into the design and delivery of health and aged care services.

Bio

Julie Ratcliffe is the newly appointed Professor of Health Economics within the Institute for Choice in the Business School at the University of South Australia.

She also holds an Honorary Professorial position in the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield. From 2010 to 2016 she was Professor of Health Economics in the School of Medicine at Flinders University. During the course of her career, Julie has published over 160 papers in peer reviewed journals and she has been a chief investigator on 40 multi-disciplinary research grants. Her research interests include the measurement and valuation of health and quality of life outcomes, the development and application of discrete choice experiments for quantifying consumer preferences and the economic evaluation of interventions across health and social care sectors.

 

May 4

 

Title Transportation in a CO2-constrained World
Presenter

Andreas W. Schäfer

Affiliation UCL Energy Institute, University College London
Abstract

How much are people travelling in different parts of the world and how may their travel demand evolve over the next decades?  What modes of transport are they currently using and how may mode choice evolve in future?  What could be the impact of disruptive technologies and business models on travel patterns?  What are the implications for CO2 emissions and what options are available for policy makers for their abatement?  This presentation tries to provide some answers to these pressing questions by examining both the demand and supply side of the world’s transportation system.  Although most of the focus is on passenger travel, examples from freight transportation are also discussed.

Bio

Andreas W. Schäfer is a Professor of Energy and Transport at the UCL Energy Institute, University College London.  He is also the Director of Research of the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy, and Resources and has served on a number of advisory boards from government and university research programs.

Andreas’ research interests cover the demand for and supply characteristics of energy and transportation systems. Andreas holds a MSc in Aerospace Engineering and a PhD in Energy Economics, both from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=ASCHA90

For those unable to attend, Adobe Connect will be available for all seminars, please email Karla.Gatenby@unisa.edu.au to indicate your interest.

 

May 2 - This seminar is being held in room MC1:21, Mawson Lakes Campus, Adelaide from 3:30 - 5pm.

 

Title Transportation in a CO2-constrained World
Presenter

Andreas W. Schäfer

Affiliation UCL Energy Institute, University College London
Abstract

How much are people travelling in different parts of the world and how may their travel demand evolve over the next decades?  What modes of transport are they currently using and how may mode choice evolve in future?  What could be the impact of disruptive technologies and business models on travel patterns?  What are the implications for CO2 emissions and what options are available for policy makers for their abatement?  This presentation tries to provide some answers to these pressing questions by examining both the demand and supply side of the world’s transportation system.  Although most of the focus is on passenger travel, examples from freight transportation are also discussed.

Bio

Andreas W. Schäfer is a Professor of Energy and Transport at the UCL Energy Institute, University College London.  He is also the Director of Research of the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy, and Resources and has served on a number of advisory boards from government and university research programs.

Andreas’ research interests cover the demand for and supply characteristics of energy and transportation systems. Andreas holds a MSc in Aerospace Engineering and a PhD in Energy Economics, both from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=ASCHA90

 

March 15

 

Title A gamification approach towards analyses on behavioural decision making
Presenter

Prof. Dr. Thorsten Teichert

Affiliation University of Hamburg
Abstract

Gamification is nowadays successfully introduced in various areas from teaching, education to management training. More recently, gamification elements are as well added to market research instruments to overcome survey fatigue. Especially younger consumers often do not cooperate in surveys if they cannot get immediate gratification from their participation and gaming elements appear to help increase survey engagement, whilst not reducing the quality of responses. 

A prototype software application has been developed at the University of Hamburg which joins gamification and mobile market research. The software focuses on measures of implicit cognition, joining implicit attention measures such as the Stroop and Posner tests with measures of implicit association and approach-avoidance tendencies. Furthermore, a discrete choice experiment is currently under development to be integrated in the prototype. The initial applications of the software relate to critical consumption of younger adults, e.g. gambling as well as food and alcohol and drug consumption.

 

February 22

 

Title New Flexible Models for Mixtures and Binary Dependent Variables
Presenter

Aiste Ruseckaite

Affiliation Institute for Choice, University of South Australia
Abstract

Many products and services can be described as mixtures of ingredients whose proportions sum to one. Specialized models have been developed for linking the mixture proportions to outcome variables, such as preference, quality and liking. In many scenarios, only the mixture proportions matter for the outcome variable. In such cases, mixture models suffice. In other scenarios, the total amount of the mixture matters as well. In these cases, one needs mixture-amount models. In the first part of my talk, I will present a new modeling approach for mixture-amount data which is flexible but parsimonious in the number of parameters. The model is based on so-called Gaussian processes and avoids issues that the current mixture-amount models have. In the second part of my talk, I will demonstrate how a similar idea can be utilized to develop a choice model that allows for a heterogeneous impact of the parameter of interest across individuals. As empirical application, I consider a revealed preference case study of consumer attitudes with respect to electric and hybrid vehicles. 

 

January 27

 

Title Advancing stated-preference methods for measuring the preference of patients with type II diabetes
Presenter

Dr John F B Bridges

Affiliation John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Abstract

Given the growth of interest in applying stated-preference methods in health and in incorporating these into regulatory decision at the FDA, there is a need to demonstrate the validity of our methods. This project was aimed at demonstrating good research practices for engaging patients in research and in measuring the preferences of patients with type II diabetes. As part of this study, we also conducted two randomize studies to assess the consistency of our methods. First, we compared the use of Likert Scales and Best-Worst Scaling (BWS) in quantifying the barriers and facilitators of self-management of diabetes. We also compared using a Discrete-Choice Experiment (DCE) and BWS for measuring treatment preference of people with diabetes. 

 

Click here to view our past seminars

Areas of study and research

+ Click to minimise