Concerns that the process of U.S. congressional redistricting may be politically biased have fueled many debates, but a team of computer scientists and engineers has developed a new computer algorithm that may make the task easier for state legislatures and fairer for their constituents. The researchers’ study proposes a new, geographically based and data-driven algorithm that allows a user to specify the goal that guides the creation of the districts, then creates the districts computationally while enforcing other requirements, such as each district being a contiguous area. Their algorithm speeds up computations by gleaning insight from the geography of the state. The study uses publicly available data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other public sources in the new program.
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