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PhD Defence Qiong Bao

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PhD Defence Qiong Bao

PhD Defence Qiong Bao

Mar 18, 2016

Universiteit Hasselt

campus Diepenbeek

Agoralaan Gebouw D

3590 Diepenbeek

On Friday, March 18, 2016, Qiong Bao defends her PhD entitled ‘Activity-based Travel Demand Forecasting using FEATHERS: Model Extension, Evaluation, and Execution’. The title slightly indicates the content of her PhD. Qiong Bao evaluated and extended the existing FEATHERS framework and demonstrated the updated version.

Please confirm your attendance at the defence and/or reception via qiong.bao@uhasselt.be before the 10th of March.


Rapid growth of traffic volume has resulted in continuously increasing social, economic and environmental problems. To achieve a sustainable development of our modern transportation systems, the originally supply-oriented focus of transportation planning has expanded to include the objective of addressing accessibility needs and problems by managing travel demand within the available transportation supply. As a consequence, more and more research attention should be paid to travel demand analysis.

FEATHERS (The Forecasting Evolutionary Activity-Travel of Households and their Environmental RepercussionS), developed by the Transportation Research Institute (IMOB) of Hasselt University, is a promising activity-based modeling framework for travel demand forecasting. In this dissertation research, Qiong Bao aims to apply this framework for real-life travel demand forecasting in a more detailed, more reliable, and more practical way.

She extended the FEATHERS framework to a more disaggregated geographical zoning system, so that a more detailed travel demand information can be expected. Currently, the most detailed travel demand data can be obtained at the Subzone level, which consists of 2,386 virtual units with an average area of 5.8 km2. In order to satisfy the needs of some small-scale research, a Building Block (BB) layer is introduced, which is the most detailed geographical level currently applicable in Belgium consisting of 10,521 units with an average area of 1.3 km2.

As model evaluation, she investigated different types of uncertainties stemmed from applying FEATHERS. She explores the possibility of restraining the size of the study area to reduce the computation time when applying FEATHERS. Finally, she illustrates how the updated FEATHERS framework can be applied for real-life transportation planning and forecasting. Here, the potential impact of light rail initiatives on travel demand at a local network in Flanders is used for demonstration.

More information

PhD-student Qiong Bao
Promoter Prof. dr. Davy Janssens
Co-promoters Prof. dr. ir. Tom Bellemans
Prof. dr. Geert Wets
Date vrijdag 18 maart 2016 om 14.30u

UHasselt (campus Diepenbeek)
Agoralaan Gebouw D
Auditorium H1
3590 Diepenbeek