- Towards a Unified Territory Design Approach – Applications, Algorithms and GIS Integration (2005)
- Territory design may be viewed as the problem of grouping small geographic areas into larger geographic clusters called territories in such a way that the latter are acceptable according to relevant planning criteria. In this paper we review the existing literature for applications of territory design problems and solution approaches for solving these types of problems. After identifying features common to all applications we introduce a basic territory design model and present in detail two approaches for solving this model: a classical location–allocation approach combined with optimal split resolution techniques and a newly developed computational geometry based method. We present computational results indicating the efficiency and suitability of the latter method for solving large–scale practical problems in an interactive environment. Furthermore, we discuss extensions to the basic model and its integration into Geographic Information Systems.
- A generic geometric approach to territory design and districting (2009)
- Territory design and districting may be viewed as the problem of grouping small geographic areas into larger geographic clusters called territories in such a way that the latter are acceptable according to relevant planning criteria. The availability of GIS on computers and the growing interest in Geo-Marketing leads to an increasing importance of this area. Despite the wide range of applications for territory design problems, when taking a closer look at the models proposed in the literature, a lot of similarities can be noticed. Indeed, the models are many times very similar and can often be, more or less directly, carried over to other applications. Therefore, our aim is to provide a generic application-independent model and present efficient solution techniques. We introduce a basic model that covers aspects common to most applications. Moreover, we present a method for solving the general model which is based on ideas from the field of computational geometry. Theoretical as well as computational results underlining the efficiency of the new approach will be given. Finally, we show how to extend the model and solution algorithm to make it applicable for a broader range of applications and how to integrate the presented techniques into a GIS.
- Planning for home health care services (2009)
- Home Health Care (HHC) services are becoming increasingly important in Europe’s aging societies. Elderly people have varying degrees of need for assistance and medical treatment. It is advantageous to allow them to live in their own homes as long as possible, since a long-term stay in a nursing home can be much more costly for the social insurance system than a treatment at home providing assistance to the required level. Therefore, HHC services are a cost-effective and flexible instrument in the social system. In Germany, organizations providing HHC services are generally either larger charities with countrywide operations or small private companies offering services only in a city or a rural area. While the former have a hierarchical organizational structure and a large number of employees, the latter typically only have some ten to twenty nurses under contract. The relationship to the patients (“customers”) is often long-term and can last for several years. Therefore acquiring and keeping satisfied customers is crucial for HHC service providers and intensive competition among them is observed.