A Computational Approach to Unbiased Districting

Mathematical and Computer Modelling, Vol. 48, 2008

11 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2010

See all articles by Clemens Puppe

Clemens Puppe

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; University of Karlsruhe

Attila Tasnadi

Corvinus University of Budapest

Date Written: February 24, 2010

Abstract

In the context of discrete districting problems with geographical constraints, we demonstrate that determining an unbiased districting turns out to be a computationally intractable (NP-complete) problem. This raises doubts as to whether an independent jury will be able to come up with a “fair” redistricting plan in case of a large population. We also show that, in the absence of geographical constraints, an unbiased districting can be implemented by a simple alternating-move game among the two parties.

Keywords: redistricting, gerrymandering, NP-complete problems

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Puppe, Clemens and Tasnadi, Attila, A Computational Approach to Unbiased Districting (February 24, 2010). Mathematical and Computer Modelling, Vol. 48, 2008 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1558372

Clemens Puppe (Contact Author)

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ( email )

Kaiserstraße 12
Karlsruhe, Baden Württemberg 76131
Germany

University of Karlsruhe ( email )

Kaiserstrasse 12
Karlsruhe, 76128
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wior.uni-karlsruhe.de/LS_Puppe/Personal/puppe_home

Attila Tasnadi

Corvinus University of Budapest ( email )

Fovam ter 8
Budapest, H-1093
Hungary

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-corvinus.hu/~tasnadi

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