Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Staff photo

Dr Richard Connors

Senior Research Fellow

Phone: +44 (0)113 34 31799
Room: 3.06
Research Group: Spatial Modelling and Dynamics

 Key Research Interests

  • Approximation, aggregation and scales of representation in traffic networks.
  • The dependence of transport system properties (such as reliability & vulnerability) on the configuration of network infrastructure.
  • The role of stochasticity in transport network analysis, within-day and day-to-day.
  • The mathematical analysis of traffic networks: analytical properties of equilibrium formulations and sensitivity analysis.
  • The network design problem as a mathematical programme with equilibrium constraints (MPEC)


  • Aug 2005 – Present: Senior Research Fellow, Inst. for Transport Studies, University of Leeds.
  • Apr 2003 – Aug 2005:Research Fellow, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds.
  • Feb 2000 – Mar 2003:MATLAB Software Engineer, Mathworks UK Ltd, Cambridge, UK.


  • PhD in Quantum Chaology. School of Mathematics, University of Bristol.
    Thesis title: Classical Periodic Orbit Correlations and Quantum Spectral Statistics
  • BA Mathematics, First Class. St Anne's College, University of Oxford.

Competitive Cities: The Network and Long Term Impacts of Fiscal Management of Transport Demand [EPSRC 2010-2013]

Cities compete with each other  to attract and retain residents and businesses. In the transport sector, fiscal demand management policies such as road user charging, workplace parking levies and parking charges are issues upon which cities may compete. This project uses mathematical models of optimal network design and game theory to study issues surrounding the design and implementation of parking and charging policies looking specifically at competing cities.

Continuously updating predictive accident models using modern data sources [EPSRC 2010-2012]

Reliable predictive accident models (PAMs) are essential to provide safe road networks. PAMs are derived by fitting statistical models to data from road sections and junctions. There is no accepted theory to indicate how accident frequency increases with traffic flow and road characteristics, nor how to include changes in road, vehicle and driver characteristics over time. The temporal transferability of PAMs is questionable, particularly when the elapsed time is large; PAMs derived using data from some 20 to 30 years ago seem to over-estimate expected accidents now. This project will develop methods to readily and reliably update PAMs.

Estimation of Travel demand models from panel data [EPSRC 2009-2010]

Increasing use is being made of panel datasets in which multiple choices are observed for each respondent. This project aims to extend existing methodologies for the estimation of stated choice models, to account for phenomena such as fatigue and learning that arise in panel data.

Deriving Practical Road Pricing Cordons With Investment In Capacity [EPSRC 2005-2008]

To advance methodologies for identifying optimal cordon designs and charge structures with optimal investment in capacity, taking into account the needs of practitioners, and the response of heterogeneous road users.

Transport Modelling Platform Grant [EPSRC 2003-2007]

To build a coherent theoretical framework for analysing travel choice behaviour in interaction with the physical transport network. My research encompassed: (1) Representations of the traffic flows and individual choice makers in equilibrium models and the analytic properties of such equilibria. (2) Merit functions in nonlinear complementarity problems and the analogous connection between UE and SUE behavioural models in transport. (3) Adoption of alternative choice models to account for decisions made under uncertainty, and their consequences in a network context. (4) Network model estimation as an MPEC using MLE. (5) Aggregation across different scales of transport network models.

Future Urban Transport [Volvo 2004-2006]

 In collaboration with the universities of Chalmers and Linkoping in Sweden. This project concerned the development of techniques for designing equitable, efficient & acceptable urban transport systems.

  • Identification of appropriate quantitative measures of equity and acceptability.
  • Designed an analytical framework for both optimising network investment and understanding its impact on equity of service provision and public acceptability.


Mathematics for Economics & Business: funadmetals of calculus and analysis


Network Modelling – theory and practice using SATURN.

Dynamic Traffic Assignment: traffic flow models and network equilibrium.

Short courses for research staff and PhD students: modelling using MATLAB.



  • Huang J; Connors RD; Maher MJ (2014) Modeling network growth with scaling laws in a linear Monocentric City, 2466, pp.134-143. doi: 10.3141/2466-15

Book Chapters


  • Gühnemann A; Connors R; Nellthorp J; Kelly C; Figlar B; Öttl G; de Lépinay I (2011) MIME - Proposed candidate market methods and market modelling framework, .
  • Gühnemann A; Connors R; Nellthorp J; Figlar B; Öttl G; de Lépinay I (2011) MIME - Report on Airport/ATM and Market Simulation., .

Conference Papers

Conference Presentations

  • Connors R; Hess S; Daly A (2011) On the computation of probit choice probabilities, Second International Choice Modelling Conference, Oulton Hall, Leeds. .
  • Ibanez N; Connors RD; Batley R; Wardman M (2008) Modelling heterogeneous taste variation in the acceptance of tolled roads in the UK., European Transport Conference .
  • Lauthep P; Sumalee A; Lam WHK; Connors RD (2007) Second-order capacity reliability evaluation for transportation network under uncertain travel demand, 12th Hong Kong Society of Transport Studies Conference, Hong Kong. .
  • Connors RD; Sumalee A (2007) Network Equilibrium under Cumulative Prospect Theory, 12th Hong Kong Society of Transport Studies Conference, Hong Kong. .
  • Teklu F; Connors RD; Watling DP (2006) Towards a holistic frequency-based transit assignment model - the stochastic process approach, First International Symposium on Dynamic Traffic Assignment, Leeds. .
  • Connors RD; Sumalee A; Watling DP (2005) Practical obstacles in the sensitivity analysis of network equilibria, 4th IMA International Conference on Mathematics in Transport, UCL, London .
  • Smith MJ; Mounce R; Connors RD; Sumalee A (2005) Bilevel optimisation: A new general method applicable to deterministic and stochastic equilibrium models, 4th IMA International Conference on Mathematics in Transport, UCL, London. .
  • Uchida K; Sumalee A; Watling DP; Connors RD (2005) A Study on Optimal Frequency Design Problem for Multi-modal Network using Probit-based User Equilibrium Assignment, TRB Conference, Washington DC 2005 .
  • Connors RD; Sumalee A; Watling DP (2004) A Whole-Link Model for Dynamic Traffic Assignment with Between-Day Variation in Demand, Symposium on Transportation Network Reliability, Christchurch, New Zealand .
  • Connors RD; Sumalee A; Watling DP (2004) Solving Continuous Network Design Problem with Probit Equilibrium: Implicit Programming and Sensitivity Analysis Approach, WCTR, 2004 .

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