REGAL: A Regionalization framework for school boundaries


Due to constant shifts in population and changing demographics, school boundary processes take place to make adjustments to school attendance zones. This spatial problem has multiple criteria like locations of schools, their capacity utilization, proximity, presence of geographical/ man-made barriers, etc. In this paper, we formulate the problem of designing school boundaries as a spatially-constrained clustering/ regionalization problem and propose an automated approach called REGAL for solving it. REGAL is two-stage framework that starts by creating a candidate solution with regard to domain constraints such as school locations and spatial contiguity. Then a local search method improves the quality of the candidate solution by optimizing population balance and compactness of school zones while satisfying problem constraints. Experimentally, we demonstrate the efficacy of the REGAL framework on actual datasets from two school districts in the US.

In Proceedings of the 26th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems