A comparative study of aggregate and disaggregate gravity models using Seoul metropolitan subway trip data

Chansung Kim, Chang Gyu Choi, Seongkil Cho, Daehyon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Existing origin constrained and doubly constrained gravity models have not been compared, theoretically or empirically, in terms of their forecasting power. Due to the newly advanced technology of intelligent transport systems, the expanded data presently available have made various models more comparable in terms of forecasting power. This paper uses archived automatic passenger counting (APC) data for urban rail in the Seoul metropolitan area. The APC data contains information about each trip's origin, destination, ticket type, fare, and distance on a daily basis. The objective of this paper is to compare the goodness-of-fit of aggregate and disaggregate gravity modeling using these data. A Hyman aggregate gravity model is used as the aggregate model without the spatial effect. The disaggregate model adopts a multinomial logit as the destination choice model with the spatial effect. In general, while the formulation of aggregate and disaggregate gravity model models are similar, the calibration and parameter estimation methods of the two models are different. As a result, this empirical study demonstrates that the variation in goodness-of-fit and forecasting power largely depends on the estimation method and selected variables. The forecasting power of the disaggregate modeling approach outperforms that of the aggregate model. This paper further confirms that spatial arrangement plays important roles in gravity modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Planning and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Aggregate
  • Automatic passenger counting
  • Destination choice
  • Disaggregate
  • Gravity model
  • Spatial effect


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