Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Mei Chen


Travel time reliability is deemed as one of the most important factors affecting travelers’ route choice decisions. However, existing practices mostly consider average travel time only. This dissertation establishes a methodology framework to overcome such limitation.

Semi-standard deviation is first proposed as the measure of reliability to quantify the risk under uncertain conditions on the network. This measure only accounts for travel times that exceed certain pre-specified benchmark, which offers a better behavioral interpretation and theoretical foundation than some currently used measures such as standard deviation and the probability of on-time arrival.

Two path finding models are then developed by integrating both average travel time and semi-standard deviation. The single objective model tries to minimize the weighted sum of average travel time and semi-standard deviation, while the multi-objective model treats them as separate objectives and seeks to minimize them simultaneously. The multi-objective formulation is preferred to the single objective model, because it eliminates the need for prior knowledge of reliability ratios. It offers an additional benefit of providing multiple attractive paths for traveler’s further decision making.

The sampling based approach using archived travel time data is applied to derive the path semi-standard deviation. The approach provides a nice workaround to the problem that there is no exact solution to analytically derive the measure. Through this process, the correlation structure can be implicitly accounted for while simultaneously avoiding the complicated link travel time distribution fitting and convolution process.

Furthermore, the metaheuristic algorithm and stochastic dominance based approach are adapted to solve the proposed models. Both approaches address the issue where classical shortest path algorithms are not applicable due to non-additive semi-standard deviation. However, the stochastic dominance based approach is preferred because it is more computationally efficient and can always find the true optimal paths.

In addition to semi-standard deviation, on-time arrival probability and scheduling delay measures are also investigated. Although these three measures share similar mathematical structures, they exhibit different behaviors in response to large deviations from the pre-specified travel time benchmark. Theoretical connections between these measures and the first three stochastic dominance rules are also established. This enables us to incorporate on-time arrival probability and scheduling delay measures into the methodology framework as well.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)