Discrete Choice Modelling Course


6 - 8 Jun | Understanding how choices are made is highly relevant in many fields of research and practice. FCL is offering a two-day discrete choice modelling course by Prof Dr Stephane Hess.

What is choice modelling?

From deciding to take a taxi or public transport, buying this or that item, choosing a destination of our next holidays or of our next visit of a public park, to what we have for lunch, we all make a series of choices every day. To understand choice making is therefore highly relevant in many fields of research and practice.

Choice modelling is an applied, quantitative statistical method to study how choices are made. Insights form such econometric models can be used to derive elasticities with respect to price and other qualitative attributes, but also to quantify market shares for future products and services, such as high speed rail or telecommunication products. 


The course will provide an introduction to the key concept of choice modelling and the design of stated preference surveys. In hands-on exercises, the participant will learn how to use the state-of-the-art, Open Source statistical software R to develop and estimate choice models and how the results are interpreted introducing the concepts of willingness to pay and elasticities.

Furthermore, the course also covers how choice modelling techniques are applied for forecasting. On the third day, the course will also introduce the participant into the art and science of stated preference survey design. The course will be relevant to individuals from all fields in which consumer choices are relevant as for example: marketing, economics, transport, environmental science, public health, planning and logistics. This variety of applications will also be reflected in the practical examples taught in the course.


This introductory course is intended for practitioners, academics, and managers in government and industry alike. It assumes no prior experience with discrete choice modelling but also those with some exposure will find it useful. Prior knowledge of basic statistical concepts and R will help understanding the concepts taught, but advanced training is not necessary.  


The course from June 6 to June 8 starts with a two-day primer in discrete choice theory, followed by one day on stated preference survey design.

Day 1

  • Introduction to choice modelling & data requirements
  • The Multinomial Logit model and estimation
  • Practical: Data handling and estimation of Multinomial Logit models in R
  • Analysis and interpretation of results (e.g. WTP)
  • SP data and introduction to orthogonal designs
  • Practical: generation of orthogonal design, simulation of choices, estimation of base model
  • Dinner (optional) 

Day 2

  • Nested Logit and other GEV models
  • Practical: GEV model estimation
  • Random coefficients models
  • Practical: advanced designs
  • Examples of choice models in practice across fields

Day 3

  • Introduction in experimental design for stated preference surveys
  • Practical: Implement simple survey design in Ngene
  • Advanced experimental design techniques
  • Practical: survey design with interaction terms
  • Using visualisation and graphs in questionnaires


The course will be taught by Dr Stephane Hess Professor for Choice Modelling at the University of Leeds, Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, and affiliated Professor in Demand Analysis at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Professor Hess is an experienced educator having lectured choice modelling at different universities and conducted several similar courses to this one around the world in recent years. His area of work is the analysis of human decision using advanced discrete choice models, and he is active in the fields of transport, health and environmental economics and has published his research widely. He is also the founding editor in chief of the Journal of Choice Modelling and the founder and steering committee chair of the International Choice Modelling Conference.


Dr Alex Erath the Principal Investigator of the Engaging Mobility group at FCL will contribute to the course by presenting on his practical experience designing and analysing stated preference surveys featuring photos, graphical and Virtual Reality elements. Michael van Eggermond a Senior Researcher at FCL and experienced choice modeller, will guide the students through the various practical session and provide an overview of web-based implementations of stated preference surveys.


For practitioners, the course fee for the first 2 days is SGD 1,200, or SGD 1,700 for all three days.  It includes workshop materials, a copy of the book Discrete Choice Methods by Kenneth Train, lunches as well as morning coffee and afternoon tea breaks. There also will be an optional course dinner (+50 SGD).

The following discount scheme applies for academics and participants from government entities, tiered by the number of registered participants by institution:

  • 1 Participant - Government 10% - Academics 20%
  • 2 Participants - Government 15% - Academics 30%
  • 3 & more participants - Government 20% - Academics 40%


To register, please fill up the registration form

Page URL: http://www.fcl.ethz.ch/news/news/2017/02/discrete-choice-modelling.html
Wed Jun 28 00:40:47 CEST 2017
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich