Fuzzy Random Utility Choice Models: The Case of Telecommuting Suitability

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Transportation Planning Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University

2 Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Random utility models have been widely used in many diverse fields. Considering utility as a random variable opened many new analytical doors to researchers in explaining behavioral phenomena. Introducing and incorporating the random error term into the utility function had several reasons, including accounting for unobserved variables. This paper incorporates fuzziness into random utility models to account for the imprecision of data intrinsic in human perception and statement. Fuzzy variables are contrasted with random variables, and a model is presented of relationships among real, perceived, and stated/reported conditions. The proposed fuzzy approach is applied to modeling telecommuting suitability, using data gathered from 242 employees in Tehran, Iran to construct fuzzy membership functions of job-tasks to the fuzzy set of telecommuting suitability. The resulting utility function can be viewed as representing the global wisdom of respondents. The enhancement in the fuzzy random utility model results, although modest, is promising and sets the stage for further research in the field of fuzzy logit models.


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