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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: Today at 07:37:17 am
Anyway, for scoring,  "your" map is below (as best I could draw it), avoiding subunit chops, assuming that they are penalized in the chop score (as they should be). I must admit "your" MI-04 achieves absolute perfection. Smiley


MI jimrtex 2015A

It wasn't really "my" map.  I found a map on the Internet, and was using it for example.  You've jumped ahead to the next step.  But your going back and forth about whether it is better to split Eaton or Ingham illustrates a weakness of a single comprehensive stage.  It become exceedingly complex when trying to consider where the boundary should be between Grand Rapids and Lansing, when it is somehow tied to the division of Hamtramck.   If your statewide map had been approved, then there could be a simple focused discussion on where to get 13,647 persons, where all the options might be considered.

The switch of Osceola (not Missaukee) was automatic.  When a single county on a boundary can be switched and improve the equality between the two districts, then it is shifted.  The algorithm is simple.   Determine counties in the more populous district that have less population than the difference.   Choose the one that reduces the difference the most, while not breaking contiguity.

I had noticed that the shift of Missaukee would produce a 3rd district within 0.5% bounds.  I'll submit it as a joint effort.

Quote
This version of MI-08 might be better from a road cut standpoint. I leave that to Muon2 to figure out.

MI jimrtex 2015A2


INEQUALITY 11 (range), 9 (ave dev) (range 5977, ave dev 1257) [11/9 in Torie D]
CHOP 12 raw (UC 14, UP 15, US 16) [12/13/14/16 Torie D]
EROSITY 112 (changes 1/2:5[6], 1/4:5[5], 2/3:10[2], 2/4:5[5], 3/4:4[2], 3/5:1[0], 3/8:5[3], 4/5:4[4], 4/8:0[1], 5/8:0[1], 5/10:4[3], 5/11:4[3], 8/11:1[1], 10/11:11[10] net +13) [99 in Torie D]

Shifting the chop from Saginaw to Ingham doesn't affect the raw CHOP, but does increase the UCC cover count, though if single county UCCs are counted it's a wash. Note that Kent is now a macrochop so erosity increases there, plus the other shofts tend to hurt erosity as well.

Shifting the chop from Clinton to Eaton increases the ave dev INEQUALITY to 10 and leaves the CHOP the same. The EROSITY drops to 110.
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: Today at 06:55:54 am
This plan has the same problem with CDs 1,2,3 and 4 as Torie C. To score it I'll make the same adjustment I described there.

Well I dealt with the inequality issue by switching out townships in Clinton, and at the cost of grotesque erosity (but I can afford that probably still, even though my map to win gets uglier with each iteration (boo!), I lost the hood chop in Detroit in favor of a micro-chop of Hamtramck.  (Yes, the BVAP for MI-13 drops to 49.1%, but that is still probably legal, inasmuch as there are a fair number of non citizen and/or non voting Hispanics in the CD), so blacks will still be casting a majority of the votes. So assuming micro-chops are freebies, I move back into the lead!  Smiley

MI Torie 2015D


Anyway, this illustrates again a problem with the pareto optimality regime. A map can win with a massive dose of additional erosity, just in order to lose a chop or two. That is what we are seeing here. I am losing a ton of erosity points, just to get rid of two or three chops, including in one iteration, a fair amount of erosity just to get rid of one micro-chop, and in the case of Detroit, massively more erosity (that should not be rewarded). So a total score concept makes some sense, or to be pareto optimal, the variation in the total score cannot exceed a certain amount.

The Detroit plan to Hamtramck looks like an equivalent of the Orchard Lake jut. However, I can't get the populations to match (CD 12=+196, CD 13=+6984, CD 14=-3504), so I can't score it. Are there microchops in there, as you suggest? I can't cover the gap with just one to Hamtramck. A zoom with town lines would help.

edit: I found a precinct in Hamtramck that gets CD 14 to +2075 as you have. However, the precinct population is 5579, so it's too big to be a microchop. That doesn't fix my CD 12/13 discrepancy, but both are within limits with the precinct move.

Yes, sorry about that. The chop in Hamtramck was too big (I kept looking so hard for less black precincts to cut, and obviously was trying too hard). The only micro-chop I could find that worked is as below (leaving MI-13 at its absolutely max legal population). BVAP is 48.5%, still probably legal given the 7.5% HVAP population (but cutting it close perhaps).  So equality goes to hell, but hey, it's only a secondary tie breaker. Tongue




INEQUALITY 12 (range), 11 (ave dev) (range 6743, ave dev 1527) [12/12 in Torie C]
CHOP 12 raw (UC 13, UP 14, US 16) [no change from Torie C]
EROSITY 99 (changes 13/14:12[8] net +4) [95 in Torie C]

There's no longer a microchop savings here, but if there was some credit the CHOP would drop accordingly. The range was about the same as Torie C, but the ave dev improved enough to gain a point, but at the expected cost in erosity.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which syllable do you emphasize in the word ... on: February 26, 2015, 11:51:44 am
ElecTORal college

ElECToral map

Also kind of depends on how quickly I am speaking, too, though, now that I think about it.

A pronunciation distinction that depends on the word that follows is what I do as well. Perhaps it's a feature of the Midwestern dialect.
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: February 25, 2015, 06:24:45 pm
MI Torie 2015A




Political leaning by district (in order): r, r, r, e, D, e, D, d, d, r, r, d, D, D; 0R, 5r, 2e, 3d, 4D.
SKEW: 1 (R)
POLARIZATION: 16

Population range 4990, average deviation 1257
INEQUALITY: 10 (range), 9 (ave dev)

UCC scores
Detroit cover 6, pack 5; no penalties
Grand Rapids cover 2, pack 0; 1 for pack
Lansing cover 2, pack 0; 1 for cover
Saginaw, Jackson; 2 for single county
Total UCC chops 7

County chops
Kent 1; macrochop
Clinton 1; macrochop
Jackson 1
Saginaw 1
Lapeer 1
Macomb 1; macrochop
Oakland 2; macrochop
Wayne 2; macrochop
Total county chops 10

Local chops
Detroit 1;
Detroit neighborhood; 1
Total local chops 2

CHOP: 12 raw (UC:13, UP:14, US:16)

Erosity by segment
seg 1/2: 3
seg 1/4: 7
seg 2/3: 9 (3 on county line, 6 internal Kent)
seg 2/4: 7 (2 on Kent county line)
seg 2/6: 1
seg 3/4: 2
seg 3/5: 1
seg 3/6: 3
seg 3/8: 8 (3 without the Clinton macrochop)
seg 4/5: 3
seg 5/8: 2 (1 without the Clinton macrochop)
seg 5/10: 3
seg 5/11: 3
seg 6/7: 1
seg 6/8: 1
seg 7/8: 3
seg 7/11: 1
seg 7/12: 6
seg 8/11: 1
seg 9/10: 6
seg 9/11: 10
seg 9/13: 6
seg 11/12: 1
seg 12/13: 13
seg 13/14: 8 (CD 13 in neighborhood 10 has two discontiguous pieces which adds one to erosity)

EROSITY: 106

This could drop if the Clinton macrochop became just a chop. The change of Saginaw from train's map, eliminating the macrochop, reduced that segment 4/5 from 12 to 3. The erosity within the Detroit UCC dropped compared to train's map. The chop went up, so both plans would survive a Pareto test.
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 25, 2015, 01:29:11 am
A midnight snack for thought:

I'm taking a desultory spin at Florida, for God knows what reason, and... uh... I'm not sure that penalizing for UCC fans is much value added in this state.



That's a fan.  Pity.

(map is very much a work in progress)

If there's interest in going outside the Great Lakes states with their well defined county subdivisions, I should open a new thread. I anticipate different issues in states like FL.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 25, 2015, 01:26:46 am
I went back to the data set I used to make the table of inequality for range. In that I took as many whole county split states as I could make with the 0.5% maximum deviation and found the average absolute deviation. Like the range it follows an exponentially falling dependence on the average number of counties per district. I then did a regression fit. From that I took a hypothetical state of 72 counties (the average) and determined the expected average deviation one should get as additional districts are added.

Ave DevInequality
0-20
2-301
30-1002
100-2203
220-3704
370-5405
540-7106
710-8807
880-10508
1050-13609
1360-150010
1500-164011
1640-176012
1760-188013
1880-199014
1990-210015

For each additional 100 in ave dev, add 1 to inequality. If the average is exactly on the boundary use the lower number.

If this makes sense I can use it in my rescoring of the plans. I can also go to a coarser step size in the table based on the exponential relationship, but I think that is more likely to favor plans with more chops.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: The Demographic Evolution of the American Electorate, 19742060 on: February 25, 2015, 01:06:55 am
One factor that is overlooked is the integration of ethnic groups into mainstream culture. If the modern VRA/Census classifications had been done 100 years earlier, there might have been specific breakouts for Italians, Poles, and Irish. Despite language and cultural differences they integrated over a few generations. I wouldn't be surprised if in 2060 people wonder why Latinos and Asians were given special treatment in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. I suspect the history of slavery would keep awareness of the special status of blacks in the US.
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 24, 2015, 06:16:02 pm
train made an observation that high erosity in urban areas went along with areas with many small munis. I've been updating and making more accurate my Detroit area muni map, with connections. What I see is that the areas with a lot of links that could contribute to erosity are also those areas with a number of subunits with small population, which can often be used to get populations within limits or otherwise reduce inequality. Effectively the higher erosity in that area acts as a tradeoff with lower inequality and seems consistent with the Pareto principle between those measures.

Yes, but that only actually has an effect on scoring if the most unequal districts happen to be in those metro areas.  If you have a more rural whole-county district which is leading the inequality derby, the tradeoff in places like Oakland and Wayne and Allegheny is rendered irrelevant, which seems wrong.

Another reason to measure inequality by average rather than simply range, perhaps?

I agree that it lends weight to measurement by average. I'd like to be sure one couldn't get away with one outlier district in population.
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 24, 2015, 05:29:32 pm
train made an observation that high erosity in urban areas went along with areas with many small munis. I've been updating and making more accurate my Detroit area muni map, with connections. What I see is that the areas with a lot of links that could contribute to erosity are also those areas with a number of subunits with small population, which can often be used to get populations within limits or otherwise reduce inequality. Effectively the higher erosity in that area acts as a tradeoff with lower inequality and seems consistent with the Pareto principle between those measures.

This is the updated map with connections (after a few hours with some mapping software). I've added the Detroit neighborhood boundaries. The blue lines are local connections within counties. Roads on the border count in both munis for connections. The red lines are highway connections across the county lines. Numbered highways on the county border may be used, but cannot be exclusively used to cross the line. That is there must be state highway entirely on each side to make a connection. Otherwise all the munis along the northern border of Wayne would count a connection by touching 8 Mile Rd (MI 102).


10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 24, 2015, 01:41:46 pm
Isn't it a VRA violation to not put Southfield in a Black district? Either way, I suspect not doing so would be unpopular, even if not illegal.

No, since the only violation can occur if the black population of the area is unable to elect the candidates of their choice. That analysis must be viewed in the context of the whole state, so if there are a reasonable number of districts where the black minority would be able to elect the candidates of choice, it doesn't matter that certain black populations are excluded from those districts.

As a practical matter, that was done in certain legislative districts in IL in 2011. Politically some black communities were shifted to white districts to make them safer for Dems. Major groups representing black issues supported the Dem plan, since politically the Dems would align with their issues, and the number of districts that would elect the candidate of choice of the blacks was not impacted.

=====

This does raise an interesting thought. In our work on southern states we identified counties that had significant black populations, and like the UCCs, thought that they should be grouped together and covered with the minimum number of districts to preserve their voting strength. In principle one could go though the same exercise with county subunits in Wayne and Oakland and recognize those areas as a unique community of interest.
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 23, 2015, 11:27:38 pm
For Michigan for example, it might be useful to draw a map with the absolutely minimum number of chops, using your system as modified, and mine, where we still disagree, and see how many erosity points it has versus say my map, and see what that ratio is.

I feel pretty confident that this map is as chop-minimizing as you can get, vis-a-vis the Torie UCC rules:



Bay, Jackson, and Lapeer are all I-chops.

The Detroit districts are, as last time, drawn to the 47% BVAP standard; another chop of Oakland would be necessary if you wanted to break 50%.

No, it's not a serious suggestion.  Tongue

EROSITY: 113 (includes Lansing UCC not acting as a supercounty for erosity)
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 23, 2015, 07:21:27 pm
Torie, my comments were only about what is a chop and how it is scored. Not microchops, not macrochops, just chops. Within the last two days I have said that I can work with microchops counting as chops at the county level and that macrochops need be nothing more than the threshold for using subunits for erosity. This is not about whether UCCs are in or out. I would like concurrence on plain old, vanilla flavored county chops that I thought were agreed to over two years ago when we were drawing plans for CA and other states.
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 23, 2015, 05:08:15 pm
Mike above I posted that you come up with the number of erosity points versus chops that obtains for a state, and that gives you your ratio. You are not reading my posts, and unlike yours sometimes, I think mine are comprehensible. Smiley

This is not a litigation, about who came up with what when, and how long something has been in place. Nobody really understood your system anyway - until now. It was basically incomprehensible, or the implications just were not understood. Just pretend your system is being attacked in the public square. Any new system has the burden of proof.

I did read your post, and I don't think that your erosity versus chops will be so simple when actual data is analyzed, and I've said why in replies to others on this thread. I'd love to be surprised and find that it is that simple.

Actually I fervently disagree about the latter. I am no mood to redebate the issue from two years ago. No one had any misunderstanding about how to count county chops at that time. You were even so kind as to mark up a first draft of diagrams that I had tried to draw to illustrate the different ways to envision chops. After so many maps and so many posts back then, now you want to change.

I will happily take my views to the real public square, and I am confident that a view of chops based on how many pieces of a district are in a county regardless of nesting will prevail. I believe it already does in some states such as NJ that counts towns that are served by more than one rep in their reports. The splits reports for districts from the CA commission conforms to my definition of chop pieces for both cities and counties.

I regret that I clouded the original chop definition by trying to incorporate UCCs into the same framework. They are different and will seem so to the public as is apparent from the discussion in this thread. But if my definition of county chops is unacceptable, I will leave it to someone else to score plans.
14  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 23, 2015, 04:00:35 pm
So is this what we can agree to?

The UCC size is defined as the population of the UCC divided by the quota and rounded up to the nearest whole number. The cover of the UCC is the number of districts that include any or all of the UCC. The pack of the UCC is the number of districts that are wholly contained by the UCC. Chop points are assessed for the difference between the cover and size of the UCC, and for the difference between one less than the size and the pack.

I assume that this is in addition to the normal county chop score. If so, I can live with this. I'm not sure I would sign off on this for counties, because I'm not sold on the notion that large counties should prefer having as many whole districts in them as possible. It would certainly be a significant departure from the hashed out definition of a county chop two years ago.

If we go in this direction for UCCs I think we will all head back to our software, since I'm not aware of any of the maps that avoid a penalty for GR. Tongue



Except for the below, I read that as an acceptance of my system, absent the macrochop increment penalty. That still treats fan outs the same, whether the population involved is 40,000 or 300,000. I am not giving up on this one ever, other than via being persuaded it causes map deterioration, or some other negative fallout, that makes such a sliding scale inappropriate, and/or that my scale is too punitive, and the penalty scale needs to be more relaxed. No such evidence of a tangible nature has so far been adduced. Folks just reiterate their bottom line opinions.

I'm not sure I would sign off on this for counties, because I'm not sold on the notion that large counties should prefer having as many whole districts in them as possible.

Really (even with the up to a macrochop pad)? Why? Beyond that, that sounds like discrimination to me. Why should multi county UCC's be treated as sacred cows, beyond the aggregation concept?

If we go in this direction for UCCs I think we will all head back to our software, since I'm not aware of any of the maps that avoid a penalty for GR. Tongue

You obviously have ceased looking at my maps. Tongue  The problem is, is that this maps generates two erosity points in exchange for avoiding a fan out of GR. If one gets only one more chop point for the fan out, the penalty in this case is pretty toothless. Which gets back to, well you guess it, incremental penalty points! A fan out per our previous maps deserves more than one penalty point. In my system,



 

My bad for missing the map, I obviously fell behind in the scoring of plans as I addressed proposed changes. Too many subthreads embedded in this one. Tongue

I guess I really need to see your sliding scale in a table, similar to the one I put together for inequality. Then I'd like clear examples that show the problem we are addressing. I start from the position that the basic definition of chops, specifically county chops, were settled two years ago. If we are reopening that here, the onus is on the party seeking change to demonstrate why the proposed change is needed. You put me through no less to justify macrochops to deal with urban erosity, and I came up with a series of Kent county maps to make my case.

I said I could live with the cover/pack system for UCCs. I don't find it ideal, because then I am back to thinking of them as overlays and not just some kind of super-county. However, if the chop out problem is that severe (and it only seems a mild problem to me), your fix as described by me is a simple enough solution.

I would also caution thinking about direct trades of chops for erosity as you might have above. They are on different scales at present, with a likelihood of 1 chop equal to about 4 erosity in MI, but I lack sufficient data to assert that.
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 23, 2015, 02:29:03 pm
So is this what we can agree to?

The UCC size is defined as the population of the UCC divided by the quota and rounded up to the nearest whole number. The cover of the UCC is the number of districts that include any or all of the UCC. The pack of the UCC is the number of districts that are wholly contained by the UCC. Chop points are assessed for the difference between the cover and size of the UCC, and for the difference between one less than the size and the pack.

I assume that this is in addition to the normal county chop score. If so, I can live with this. I'm not sure I would sign off on this for counties, because I'm not sold on the notion that large counties should prefer having as many whole districts in them as possible. It would certainly be a significant departure from the hashed out definition of a county chop two years ago.

If we go in this direction for UCCs I think we will all head back to our software, since I'm not aware of any of the maps that avoid a penalty for GR. Tongue

16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 23, 2015, 12:10:23 pm
While everyone is dissing my Livingston chop map, understand that it is just an entry. If it stays on the Pareto frontier it goes on to a committee of real humans who decide things like whether Saginaw should stay with Midland or if Kalamazoo to Monroe is a bridge too far. They can determine if the South Lyon/Brighton/Howell urbanized area, which is separate from the Detroit urbanized area, means that Livingston can be split off as much as other CSA counties like Monroe and Washtenaw that happen to have an older center that qualified them for their own MSA.
17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 23, 2015, 11:56:03 am
Well why don't we return then to the original model for UCCs (ca 2013). It was pretty simple IMO. Here's how it reads.

The size of a UCC is defined as the population of the UCC divided by the quota and rounded up to the nearest whole number. The number of districts in excess of the size of the UCC is equal to the number of additional chop points.


Note this is over and above any chops for counties, townships, cities, etc. Macrochops would then only function to determine zoom down from the county level to measure erosity. The simple rule avoids trying to determine a maximum number of districts, so anyone's map can be scored easily without disqualification. It keeps me happy since I oppose disqualification for UCC violations precisely because they aren't generally understood, but think a penalty is fine.
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 23, 2015, 09:33:19 am
Interesting discussion, with my little points not commented upon. Sad That's OK. I take Mike's points, but to me severing off whole a highly populated county in a UCC without an extra penalty, tends to eviscerate the concept of a UCC, and could lead to abuses. We calculate the size of chops already, in a way no other system out there does, but then suddenly, when it comes to UCC's, it doesn't matter so much anymore, with the ratio of the penalty to the population involved in a fan out, in some cases relatively trivial (oh, the irony of the freak out over Jimtex's minor two chops of the Lansing UCC, while just one point penalty accrues for Mike's chop off of the entirety of Livingston).

Alas when there are four of us in conversation it is all too easy to address one or two comments in one post, and as that evolves, lose track of other salient points raised.

I've conceded the county microchop in the face of evidence, but on the UCC matter I've seen nothing to sway me. In fact some of the evidence presented on the microchop case makes me firmer on UCC chops. It comes down to the basic notion that a chop is a chop.

Let me elucidate with the comparison you cite. If I'm viewing it as a detached member of the public I see the double chop of Lansing as two chops, I don't see the Livingston chop at all. Then you tell me about UCCs, and that chops into them matter. I then can see that both Lansing and Detroit UCCs are chopped and should each get a point, and maybe Lansing gets two UCC points because it's better to spread the chops around rather than put them all in one place. Either way UCC chops are no stronger than county chops, and in the Lansing case maybe less strong. Recall that some on our VA commission here were not willing to approve UCCs as part of the basic scoring, only as a guide to the selection, putting UCCs in the same category as the political measures.

Then you claim that size matters. Let's recall that the macrochop is primarily the test to determine when subunits matter so that erosity comes out relatively even in urban and rural areas. Erosity is the prime tool to balance the use of chops in gerrymandering. I note that both train and I have pushed down chops, but have not reached your lower erosity scores - that is how it should be. But in the absence of UCCs and if strict subunit integrity is applied, macrochops don't affect the chop count. So we can consider other size metrics to address this.

Jimrtex has a continuous scale for judging chop size, and Torie has a discrete set of steps for chop size scoring (I think, but it hasn't been in a clearly put table, so I may have it wrong). If the effect of the chop size is to say that smaller county chops below some threshold are less than one point, I can see how that might resonate with my rational but detached viewer. But as soon as one says that a chop is magnified beyond the basic one point amount it looks fishy (unless of course everything scales up by some constant factor). When UCCs are in play they already cause county chops to potentially count double (not to mention the typical increase in erosity when one make large chops into them).

The short takeaway is that given that some members of the public may not accept UCCs at all in the scoring since they aren't statutory political units, someone has to show me why UCC chops should be scored more severely than counties. The Livingston vs Lansing example convinces me of the opposite.
19  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 23, 2015, 05:40:16 am
The second issue I have is that it presumes the sanctity of the UCC. I see no reason why excess UCC splits should be viewed as anything more special than excess county splits. In my posted plan, I actually did use regions to devise it. It has eight regions, which is the same number as your graph, but my regions don't respect the UCCs. Shouldn't I get scored based on my regions with perhaps a penalty for violating the UCCs? If you try to score it based on UCCs it would get a prohibitively large penalty for population shifts that you might as well say that UCCs are inviolable.  That was never the intent of the UCCs as I understood their development.

I feel like sanctity of major metro areas was indeed the whole point of UCCs, so I'm obviously not a fan of any plan that tries to make an end-run around them like yours does.  Obviously some splits are mathematically unavoidable, but I would certainly argue in favor of the concept having more teeth than just a garden-variety county chop.  Perhaps an extra penalty for each district that spans the UCC boundary is in fact what the doctor ordered.  

I'd also like to see an erosity calculation for my latest map when you get the chance.

We will have to agree to disagree here. The UCCs were devised to identify communities of interest and penalize plans that chopped them excessively. Excessively was simply defined as having more districts than the minimum to cover the UCC. Almost all UCCs are less than a whole number of districts, so all those districts must perforce have a UCC-spanning district.

Counties and munis are also CoIs, just like UCCs. Arguably counties and munis are more identifiable and their chops will be more readily noted by the public than a chop of a UCC. Scoring excess UCC chops more severely than excess county chops, especially more than rural county chops is completely counterintuitive to me. It's a way too city-centric view that elevates the urban area over the rural area without justification.

Even considering UCCs is a unique feature of this site compared to any other I've seen. Most only consider established political boundaries, which UCCs are not. Then they rely on subjective communities of interest which can become a crutch for gerrymandering. However, I find that when CoIs can be quantified they can be used to improve a plan. UCCs are an example of that. The limitation of connections between counties to direct numbered highways for calculating erosity is another example. I've built both in to the system, but not so much that they dictate a result.

I can be convinced that a chop is a chop. I can't be convinced that a UCC chop is something more than a chop.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 22, 2015, 06:14:39 pm
Links may be eliminated to reduce their number to the minimum necessary to leave all vertices connected (minimum links = number vertices minus one).  We will equalize population along these remaining links.  Thus we are defining the fewest possible chop locations that would produce equality among all regions.  Remember that a link represents a boundary between regions that have connected counties, and thus we can chop a county on the side of the boundary  where population is being shifted from.





Once we have the reduced graph, it is trivial to calculate the population need to equalize the population among them.   There will always be at least two exposed vertices that have only a single link to the rest of the vertices.   Since all equalization for the vertex must be along that link, the amount to be transferred is the deviation of the region's population from the ideal size for the region.



In this example, the flow was calculated in the following order:

Gray (Flint) to Red (Tri-Cities), which makes Gray exposed.
Gray (Flint) to Pink (Detroit), which makes Pink exposed.
Lime (Lansing) to Pink (Detroit), which makes Lime exposed.
Lime (Lansing) to Green (Grand Rapids), no new exposures.
Sky (Southwest) to Brown (Southeast), which makes Sky exposed.
Sky (Southwest) to Green (Grand Rapids), which makes Green exposed.
Green (Grand Rapids) to Red (Northern)

The amount of the flow (ie chop size) is relative to the quota.  The total flow is 8.90% of the quota or 62,804 persons.

When measuring a plan our objective is to not only have the minimum number of chops, but have the fewest persons in chops.

Muon will want to know if an ordinary person could do this.  The initial graph is quite simple.  Simply take a sheet of paper, and indicate the location and population of each region, and draw links between neighboring regions.

To avoid double shifts, shifts should be made from regions with surplus, to regions of deficit.  In this case the shift from Lime (Lansing) and Gray (Flint) to Pink (Detroit) was noted.  And there was enough left over to eliminate the deficit for Red (Tri-Cities).

This meant that the deficit for Brown (Southeast) had to be made up from Sky (Southwest), with the remaining surplus shifted north.

It this instance, there were 14 links.  There are 214 (16384) sets of links.  But we want a graph with 7 links.  That is we have have 14 links, and we want a subset of 7 links, or:
14! / 7! (14-7)! = 3432.  But many of these would exclude some of the vertices.  I think there are 462 7-link subgraphs that link all 8 regions.   It is amenable to brute force attack.

But an ordinary user simply needs to concentrate on reducing inequality among regions.

I understand this, and I think it makes a good basis for an algorithm. However, what it can't do is evaluate a plan like the one I posted for MI. To do so, it has to reverse engineer regions where none are plainly evident. It is possible to propose regions consistent with the plan, but that choice may not be unique. We take some care in our maps, but what about citizens who propose maps that aren't so careful to minimize chops. I wouldn't want to see them discarded, but I would like to see them scored.

The second issue I have is that it presumes the sanctity of the UCC. I see no reason why excess UCC splits should be viewed as anything more special than excess county splits. In my posted plan, I actually did use regions to devise it. It has eight regions, which is the same number as your graph, but my regions don't respect the UCCs. Shouldn't I get scored based on my regions with perhaps a penalty for violating the UCCs? If you try to score it based on UCCs it would get a prohibitively large penalty for population shifts that you might as well say that UCCs are inviolable. That was never the intent of the UCCs as I understood their development.



Region 1 (CD 1) 1.0000
Region 2 (CD 2+4) 1.9950
Region 3 (CD 3) 1.0035
Region 4 (CD 6) 1.0025
Region 5 (CD 7) 0.9920
Region 6 (CD 8 ) 1.0042
Region 7 (CD 5+9+11) 3.0019
Region 8 (CD 10+12+13+14) 4.0010

Shifts 8->5 (0.10%), 7->5 (0.19%), 6->5 (0.42%), 4->5 (0.10%): 0.81%
Shifts 3->2 (0.35%), 4->2 (0.15%): 0.50%
Total shift 1.30% (adjusted for rounding). The red is the only shift that was required on the map.

Why shouldn't this be scored as such, with an additional penalty for the 3 UCC chops?

Alternatively I could claim CD 5 as a 9th region since it is within 5% of the quota. How should that be treated?
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 22, 2015, 05:23:14 pm
I could easily graph the average absolute deviation and use it to construct a table of inequality (I have the data). I actually like the mathematics of the average deviation and it does make every district matter. The question is what will be most defensible as a standard, and the court likes to concentrate on the worst cases of voter inequality which is the range. For instance if I have 8 districts with deviations of 0.125% from equality and two at the limit of 0.5%, the average deviation is 0.2%. If the eight close districts are made exact, then the average deviation is cut in half to 0.1%. Yet I think the court would care more that the range stayed the same at 1%, and would think a plan with all 10 districts at 0.2% deviation would be better at reaching OMOV.
A court should consider the overall strategy of the state.  In Karcher v Daggett, the court did not reject the use of whole  towns, but that New Jersey was careless and haphazard.  In Vieth v Jubelirer, knew that Pennsylvania had no non-political strategy and demanded exact equality.  In Tennant v Jefferson County Commission, the court accepted West Virginia's reasons, even though they were somewhat rationalization.

Standard deviation says that the plan without the extremes is better (0.2 vs 0.22).

The SCOTUS has accepted an Ohio House plan with two districts outside a 5% deviation.  One was because of the except for a single-county district, but the other was in northeastern Ohio, where the limit in the Ohio Constitution was exceeded, but was necessary to comply with the other rules with regard to counties.

In White v Regester which set the 10% upper limit, the court did note other aspects of deviation distribution.

Then the interesting case would be one that compared two congressional plans with 10 districts that meet all state standards equally well except for population deviation. Plan A has 8 exactly equal districts and 2 with a 0.5% deviation (range 1%, average deviation 0.1%, standard deviation 0.22%). Plan B has all 10 districts with 0.25% deviation (range 0.5%, average deviation 0.25%, standard deviation 0.25%). Since these are congressional plans they are governed by the requirement that the populations be as equal as practicable. Though plan B is worse in both deviation measures, I can't help but think that the court would be attracted to it since the disparity between the most populous and least populous districts is reduced.
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 22, 2015, 04:32:45 pm
I'm surprised at the lack of love for Pareto. Without it flexibility goes down and the pressure to game the system increases. I think there is a role for humans to look at plans, and that requires that they presented with some choices. Why not a Pareto optimized set?

One danger with a total score approach is that it assumes that the categories in the score are calibrated with respect to each other. If they are then a chop point should mean the same as an erosity point. I have somewhat balanced the chop and inequality scores by using actual data from states drawn here. I haven't done anything like that to balance chops and erosity. If I had to guess, the balance between them will depend on the number of districts in the state. In MI a chop point is probably worth 3-4 erosity points, maybe more. I'm looking at the maps drawn here as part of a data set that may determine the right calibration.
How difficult is to to do a hyperbolic curve fit (of the form y = k/x)?


It a question of having enough data from a given state to make a statistically meaningful fit. There's no guarantee that it takes the form y = k/x. I found that the inequality fit better to an exponential with the number of counties per district (or region).
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 22, 2015, 02:39:46 pm
I'm surprised at the lack of love for Pareto. Without it flexibility goes down and the pressure to game the system increases. I think there is a role for humans to look at plans, and that requires that they presented with some choices. Why not a Pareto optimized set?

One danger with a total score approach is that it assumes that the categories in the score are calibrated with respect to each other. If they are then a chop point should mean the same as an erosity point. I have somewhat balanced the chop and inequality scores by using actual data from states drawn here. I haven't done anything like that to balance chops and erosity. If I had to guess, the balance between them will depend on the number of districts in the state. In MI a chop point is probably worth 3-4 erosity points, maybe more. I'm looking at the maps drawn here as part of a data set that may determine the right calibration.

I'm a fan of Pareto.  Perhaps there could be a fail-safe to prevent rewarding, say, just going back to strict 100 percent population equality and letting all else twist in the wind, but barring that the three-prong test seems conceptually sound.

As for how to calibrate erosity, it really does depend on the state.  I also wonder if zoomed muni connections ought to be a fractional erosity point on the grounds that having lots of tiny boros in places where one must cut would have an unduly large influence on the overall erosity score.  It doesn't seem quite right that, say, a quarter of Pennsylvania's entire erosity score could depend on how one navigates the tiny municipalities in Allegheny County, when the larger shapes elsewhere are what "really" matters.

Perhaps, actually, keep the muni counting system and have erosity based on the average score of all the districts instead.  That might in one fell swoop get those numbers down to chop size.  This system could be extended to inequality as well, to provide an incentive for districts which aren't just the furthest outliers to get closer to equal.

I could easily graph the average absolute deviation and use it to construct a table of inequality (I have the data). I actually like the mathematics of the average deviation and it does make every district matter. The question is what will be most defensible as a standard, and the court likes to concentrate on the worst cases of voter inequality which is the range. For instance if I have 8 districts with deviations of 0.125% from equality and two at the limit of 0.5%, the average deviation is 0.2%. If the eight close districts are made exact, then the average deviation is cut in half to 0.1%. Yet I think the court would care more that the range stayed the same at 1%, and would think a plan with all 10 districts at 0.2% deviation would be better at reaching OMOV.

Dividing the erosity by the number of districts might be a good calibration, but I think it might reduce erosity too much. There's a mathematical basis to think that the erosity should be divided by the square root of one less than the number of districts (3.6 for MI). I'm hoping some of the analysis of plans here will see where the practical ratio lies.

The problem with erosity around small munis is certainly real, but the are artificial ways to navigate counties to reduce erosity, too. The real geography of political boundaries is always going to force certain choices in a plan, unless one wants to erase them in a splitline fashion.
24  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 22, 2015, 01:41:44 pm
I'm surprised at the lack of love for Pareto. Without it flexibility goes down and the pressure to game the system increases. I think there is a role for humans to look at plans, and that requires that they presented with some choices. Why not a Pareto optimized set?

One danger with a total score approach is that it assumes that the categories in the score are calibrated with respect to each other. If they are then a chop point should mean the same as an erosity point. I have somewhat balanced the chop and inequality scores by using actual data from states drawn here. I haven't done anything like that to balance chops and erosity. If I had to guess, the balance between them will depend on the number of districts in the state. In MI a chop point is probably worth 3-4 erosity points, maybe more. I'm looking at the maps drawn here as part of a data set that may determine the right calibration.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Chops and Erosity - Great Lakes Style on: February 22, 2015, 08:35:10 am
The IL Dems successfully defended state rep districts with 46% BVAP in court, and that was with more compact 50% BVAP districts available. In Cook the data supported a finding that polarized voting was not prevalent to the extent that the black minority would be unable to elect a candidate of choice. It helped that major black groups like the Urban League were supporting the Dems position.

In the OH competition, a threshold of 48% BVAP was used for CDs based on consultation with black community groups. They recognized that a 50% BVAP CD would need to reach into Akron, where as 48% could be put together in Cuyahoga. The Dem map that was filed in response to the Pub plan was between 48% and 50%.

However, a Pub-gerrymandered map that went under 50% BVAP would almost certainly be subject to attack by Dem-leaning minority groups. That is why Pubs stick to the 50% threshold.

Can you get to 48% BVAP without chops of subunits? Can you get there without such a map causing the map score to tank whether using your system, or your system as modified by me?  If Ohio enacted into law "our" system, I suspect that would tend to defang any such lawsuit, because there would be objective reasons per previously enacted law to cut down the BVAP a tad, tied to good map making. That is a different context, from a map that chops here, there and everywhere, but then suddenly does not when it comes to the Cleveland district.

I am falling in love with my system. Smiley  I find it simple and intuitive, focusing on chop size, along with the number of chops, universally applied with just the UCC aggregation overlay.

To get to 48% Cleveland has to be split. OH recognizes city wards as a subunit of municipalities. The OH constitution explicitly states that "such district shall be formed by combining the areas of governmental units giving preference in the order named to counties, townships, municipalities, and city wards." [emphasis added]

In DRA the Cleveland wards are listed by number in the precinct name with the ward precinct indicated by letter. The same notation applies to other OH cities and can be used to guide chops of Akron or Cincinnati. They are especially useful in Columbus which must be chopped.

=====
It is probably useful to run your chop scores on our collection of MI maps and see if they shift the Pareto ranking of any of them.
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