Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation

01 March 2003
By Dr. Kenneth Train

NERA Vice President Dr. Kenneth Train's widely-praised new tome, from Cambridge University Press, describes the new generation of discrete choice methods, focusing on the many advances that have been made possible by simulation models. Researchers use these statistical methods to examine the choices made by consumers, households, firms, and other decision-makers.

Addressing the most advanced elements of the estimation and usage of discrete choice models in a clear and simplifying style, the book reveals an emerging consensus among the use of these various new techniques. Dr. Train proposes that understanding these techniques -- their advantages, their limitations, and the relations among them -- is crucial when choosing the appropriate method in any particular application, and for developing new methods when none of the existing models seem right. To assist readers along that path, Dr. Train offers thoughtful insights on each of the major models: logit, generalized extreme value (including nested and cross-nested logits), probit, and mixed logit, plus a variety of specifications that build on these basics. Dr. Train also investigates and compares a range of simulation-assisted estimation procedures that are applicable in many fields, including energy, transportation, environmental studies, health, labor, and marketing.

Covering a broad range of topics with great clarity and depth, this book is a must-read for advanced choice modelers -- and can even serve as a textbook for advanced students of discrete choice analysis.

What people are saying...

"This is a masterful book, authored by one of the leading contributors to discrete choice methods and analysis. No other book covers this ground with such up-to-date detail in respect of theory and implementation. The chapters on simulation and recent developments such as mixed logit are most lucid. As a text or reference work this volume should have currency for a long time. It will appeal to the practitioner as much as to the specialist researcher who has been in this field for many years."

David Hensher
The University of Sydney

"An outstanding textbook for advanced students and a reference for experienced practitioners of discrete choice analysis. The text covers modern simulation methods that advanced choice modelers should know. The book is blessed by Kenneth Train's unique gift for simplifying and explaining the topic."

Moshe Ben-Akiva
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Ken Train's book provides outstanding coverage of the most advanced elements of the estimation and usage of discrete choice models that require simulation to take account of the randomness in the population under study. His writing is clear and understandable providing both the new and experienced reader with excellent insights into and understanding of all aspects of these new and increasingly important methods."

Frank S. Koppelman
Northwestern University