Seminars

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

November 8

Title

Departure Time Choice: Modelling Individual Preferences, Intention and Constraints

Presenter

Mikkel Thorhauge

Affiliation Assistant Professor, Transport Modelling Division Department of  Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Abstract

Most major cities are facing problems due to congestion. Congestion is (especially) related to commuting in dense urban areas, in which the demand is condensed in peak-hours. Since people are more likely to change their departure time rather than changing their transport mode to avoid congestion understanding the departure time choice from an individual perspective is important to develop policies aimed to address growing congestion issues. 

 This study approaches the problem of the departure time choices for car commuters in the greater Copenhagen area under a more general framework that recognises that the choice of when to depart is affected by both micro-economic and psychological factors. Moreover, it is not an isolated decision, but rather a decision within a complex activity decision chain, where constraints imposed by one activity can affect all other activities in the chain and in particular the preference for the departure time to work.

August 30

Title Putting words into customers' mouths: The effects of firm-generated word of mouth in social media on customer referrals
Presenter

Jake An

Affiliation University of New South Wales
Abstract

Instead of relying on consumer-generated word-of-mouth (WOM), in recent years, marketers are increasingly designing firm-generated WOM to actively facilitate the customer referral program (CRP) in social media. A critical challenge for marketers is understanding how to design firm-generated WOM to better motivate customers to share the WOM in social media, thus, increasing customers’ participation in CRP. Using WOM theory as the backdrop, we explain and validate when different firm-generated WOM types are more effective in motivating customers to refer on social media. Our empirical data come from a large field experiment with a financial services firm that offers diversified investment portfolio products to over 100,000 customers. In addition, we conduct two experiments to further examine firm-generated WOM in a more controlled environment. The results show that story (vs. sale)-oriented firm-generated WOM is more effective in increasing referrals in social media in general.  However, when the firm heightens consumer commercial motive, sale-oriented firm-generated WOM is more effective. Our study provides substantive managerial implications in terms of how managers can better design firm-generated WOM to generate more referrals in social media.

August 2

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

Carla-Leanne Washbourne

Affiliation University College Longon
Abstract

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.

July 13

Title Disaggregate behavioural land use modelling
Presenter

Taha Hossein Rashidi

Affiliation University of New South Wales
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

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 computatiional cognitive methods
Presenter

Scott Brown

Affiliation The University of Newcastle
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

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
Abstract

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.

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.

May 2

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.

March 15

Title A gamification approach towards analyses on behavioural decision making
Presenter

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
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

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.

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