[EM] Advantages of Dirichlet Region Districts

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Fri Jan 16 11:13:03 PST 2004

On Thu, 15 Jan 2004, Ernest Prabhakar wrote:

> I think the real question -- and the real problem --  is that if I
> remember correctly Joe's proposal requires:
> a) objective criteria
> b) some voting method for deciding between them
> If we have a determinate objective criteria, I don't see why we can't
> automate the 'right' solution using explicit calculation or at least
> probabilistic techniques.  If indeterminate, then that requires voting
> - but how do we get decent voting if we're starting from gerrymandered
> districts?

I agree; just use the objective optimization to choose among the

The only vote would be to decide on which objective measure of over-all
compactness to adopt.

If anybody is thinking about a boundary based measure, please tell me how
to find the geographical boundary of the partition suggested by Stephane
(based on birthdays) or the one that divides the state into a hundred
districts according to the last two digits of your social security number.

The average-within-district-distance measure that I suggest could handle
these two cases as easily as any other partition of the voters, without
ever having to worry about boundaries.


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