Political Districting for Elections to the German Bundestag: An Optimization-Based Multi-stage Heuristic Respecting Administrative Boundaries

  • Sebastian Goderbauer
Conference paper
Part of the Operations Research Proceedings book series (ORP)


According to the legal requirements for Elections to the German Bundestag the problem of partitioning Germany into electoral districts can be formulated as a multi-criteria graph partition problem. To solve this regularly current problem, an optimization-based heuristic is introduced and successfully applied to German population data.


  1. 1.
    Altman, M.: Is automation the answer? The computational complexity of automated redistricting. Rutgers Comput. Law Technol. J. 23(1), 81–142 (1997)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    De Simone, C., Lucertini, M., Pallottino, S., Simeone, B.: Fair dissections of spiders, worms, and caterpillars. Networks 20(3), 323–344 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hess, S.W., Weaver, J.B., Siegfeldt, H.J., Whelan, J.N., Zitlau, P.A.: Nonpartisan political redistricting by computer. Oper. Res. 13(6), 998–1006 (1965)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ito, T., Zhou, X., Nishizeki, T.: Partitioning a graph of bounded tree-width to connected subgraphs of almost uniform size. J. Discret. Algorithm. 4(1), 142–154 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lucertini, M., Perl, Y., Simeone, B.: Most uniform path partitioning and its use in image processing. Discret. Appl. Math. 42(2–3), 227–256 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mehrotra, A., Johnson, E.L., Nemhauser, G.L.: An optimization based heuristic for political districting. Manag. Science. 44(8), 1100–1114 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sainte-Laguë, A.: La représentation proportionnelle et la méthode des moindres carrés. Annales scientifiques de l’École Normale Supérieure. 27, 529–542 (1910)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Shapefile der Verwaltungsgrenzen: Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie. (2013)—, Cited 30 Jul 2014
  9. 9.
    Vickrey, W.S.: On the prevention of gerrymandering. Pol. Sci. Quar. 76(1), 105–110 (1961)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yamada, T.: A mini-max spanning forest approach to the political districting problem. Int. J. Syst. Sci. 40(5), 471–477 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Young, H.P.: Measuring the compactness of legislative districts. Legis. Stud. Q. 13(1), 105–115 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zensus 2011: Bevölkerung—Ergebnisse des Zensus am 9. Mai 2011. Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden. (2014)— Cited 30 Jul 2014

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RWTH Aachen University, Operations ResearchAachenGermany

Personalised recommendations