How do we model group decisions? 

Prof. Habib head shot

Khandker Nurul Habib

Dr. Adam Weiss head shot

Dr. Adam Weiss

Researchers found a problem with an existing model for group decision-making. They then adapted an alternate and problem-free group decision-making model to take any number of decision-makers into account, and applied it to students and their families.

The research by Professor Khandker Nurul Habib and UTTRI postdoctoral fellow Dr. Adam Weiss is featured in “A generalized parallel constrained choice model for intra-household escort decision of high school students” published in Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Volume 114, August 2018.


This paper presents an expanded and generalized formulation of discrete group decision-making model. The empirical model is developed for modelling high school student escort and travel mode choices. The development of the model uncovered issues with an existing group decision model, the multi-linear logit, that has recently been applied to similar decision contexts. The paper proposes an expanded formulation of parallel constrained choices logit model as an alternative to the multi-linear logit. The proposed model explicitly considers both the choice of mode of the students and commuting adults within the household and how those decisions change in response to household escort decisions. This structure is powerful as it allows both individual and group level decisions to be jointly modelled. The application of the model in this paper is generalized such that any number of adults can be accommodated within the modelling structure whereas previous studies have been limited to either two adults or two workers. The key findings of the analysis include a certain degree of altruism (or dedication) from adults to household children. This altruism which is captured indirectly within the modelling framework based on a lower utility weight for the adults in the household relative to the utility weight for household children.