Project description

The overall aim of the OPUS project is to contribute to improved decision making in the public and private sector within Europe by developing innovative statistical and database systems to enable the combination of data from disparate, cross-sectoral sources.

In order to achieve this overall aim, the key scientific objective of the project is to develop a generic statistical framework for the optimal combination of complex spatial and temporal data from survey and non-survey sources. The framework will be sufficiently abstract to be applicable in a wide range of potential socio-economic domains. It will be demonstrated in transport pilot applications in London and Zurich and in smaller-scale feasibility studies in a number of other cities and regions and in a feasibility study in the health sector.

The transport pilot applications will involve the definition of specific structural relationships amongst measured quantities and the characterisation of sampling/non-sampling errors, based on domain knowledge from the field of transport planning. The necessary database and estimation software to enable the application of the statistical framework to mobility will be developed. There currently does not exist a statistically coherent methodology to address general problems of data combination in the transport, health and environment sectors.

The success of the work will be measured by the extent to which the models and methods developed can be demonstrated to lead to improved estimates of key policy relevant parameters, either in terms of enabling the combination and use of data sources that were hitherto incommensurate and/or in terms of leading to demonstrable improvements in the accuracy and/or precision of estimated parameters. These factors will constitute the relevant “efficiency indicators” for the project and will enable the benchmark comparison of results across space and time.