Measuring accessibility using gravity and radiation models

Since the presentation of the radiation model, much work has been done to compare its findings with those obtained from gravitational models. These comparisons always aim at measuring the accuracy with which the models reproduce the mobility described by origin–destination matrices. This has been done at different spatial scales using different datasets, and several versions of the models have been proposed to adjust to various spatial systems. However, the models, to our knowledge, have never been compared with respect to policy testing scenarios. For this reason, here we use the models to analyse the impact of the introduction of a new transportation network, a bus rapid transport system, in the city of Teresina in Brazil. We do this by measuring the estimated variation in the trip distribution, and formulate an accessibility to employment indicator for the different zones of the city. By comparing the results obtained with the two approaches, we are able to not only better assess the goodness of fit and the impact of this intervention, but also understand reasons for the systematic similarities and differences in their predictions.


Measuring accessibility using gravity and radiation models
Duccio Piovani, Elsa Arcaute, Gabriela Uchoa, Alan Wilson, Michael Batty
Published 12 September 2018.DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171668