Although there is no universally acknowledged definition of accessibility, various indicators with different theoretical backgrounds and complexities have been proposed and implemented in empirical investigations. Consequently, results from these models are widespread and reflect more or less the modeler's aim and point of view. Given the importance of accessibility measures as tools in planning, the aim of this paper is to elicit an understanding of the mechanism behind their diversity. In this paper, accessibility measures are classified according to their underpinning theories, complexity in constructions, and demand on data. The classifications comprise travel-cost, gravity, constraints-based, utility-based, and composite approaches. While simpler models are less demanding on data, they fail to address the subject in a theoretically rigorous manner. The paper also summarizes issues that are important in modeling accessibility. We compare the performance of some conferred accessibility measures in a European context and examine the effects of functional forms of the deterrence variable and agglomeration effect.
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