An empirical comparison of travel choice models that capture preferences for compromise alternatives
Compromise alternatives have an intermediate performance on each or most attributes rather than having a poor performance on some attributes and a strong performance on others. The relative popularity of compromise alternatives among decision-makers has been convincingly established in a wide range of decision contexts, while being largely ignored in travel behavior research. We discuss three (travel) choice models that capture a potential preference for compromise alternatives. One approach, which is introduced in this paper, involves the construction of a so-called compromise variable which indicates to what extent (i.e., on how many attributes) a given alternative is a compromise alternative in its choice set. Another approach consists of the recently introduced random regret-model form, where the popularity of compromise alternatives emerges endogenously from the regret minimization-based decision rule. A third approach consists of the contextual concavity model, which is known for favoring compromise alternatives by means of a locally concave utility function. Estimation results on a stated route choice dataset show that, in terms of model fit and predictive ability, the contextual concavity and random regret models appear to perform better than the model that contains an added compromise variable.