Zone design of specific sizes using adaptive additively weighted Voronoi diagrams
Territory or zone design processes entail partitioning a geographic space, organized as a set of areal units, into different regions or zones according to a specific set of criteria that are dependent on the application context. In most cases, the aim is to create zones of approximately equal sizes (zones with equal numbers of inhabitants, same average sales, etc.). However, some of the new applications that have emerged, particularly in the context of sustainable development policies, are aimed at defining zones of a predetermined, though not necessarily similar, size. In addition, the zones should be built around a given set of seeds. This type of partitioning has not been sufficiently researched; therefore, there are no known approaches for automated zone delimitation. This study proposes a new method based on a discrete version of the adaptive additively weighted Voronoi diagram that makes it possible to partition a two-dimensional space into zones of specific sizes, taking both the position and the weight of each seed into account. The method consists of repeatedly solving a traditional additively weighted Voronoi diagram, so that each seed's weight is updated at every iteration. The zones are geographically connected using a metric based on the shortest path. Tests conducted on the extensive farming system of three municipalities in Castile-La Mancha (Spain) have established that the proposed heuristic procedure is valid for solving this type of partitioning problem. Nevertheless, these tests confirmed that the given seed position determines the spatial configuration the method must solve and this may have a great impact on the resulting partition.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-10-01