On the overspecification of multinomial and nested logit models due to alternative specific constants

Michel Bierlaire, Tsippy Lotan, Philippe Toint

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    Discrete choice models as demand forecasting techniques have been used for transportation applications for more than thirty years. The multinomial and nested logit models are probably the most widely applied in this context. Alternative specific constants, although playing an important role in these models, have received very little attention in theoretical studies. In this paper, we try to fill this gap by providing an analysis of the overspecification caused by alternative specific constants to the log-likelihood function of multinomial and nested logit models. The theoretical results lead directly to a particular strategy of alternative specific constant specification, called here the orthogonal strategy. The analysis of the relationship between any two arbitrary strategies and the derivation of an interesting geometrical property of the orthogonal strategy provide a motivation to prefer the latter.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-371
    Number of pages9
    JournalTransportation Science
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1997

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  • Projects

    Discrete choice models

    TOINT, P., Cornelis, E., Cirillo, C., Bastin, F., BARTHELEMY, J. & LEGRAIN, L.


    Project: Research Axis

    Student Theses

    Optimization for random utility models

    Author: Bierlaire-Hancotte, M., 1996

    Supervisor: Toint, P. (Supervisor), Polak, J. (External person) (Jury) & Axhausen, K. (External person) (Jury)

    Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences

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