Gesellschaft für
Klassifikation e. V.
Uni Dortmund



Vereniging voor Ordinatie en Classificatie

Contest: "Social Milieus" in Dortmund


Amt für Statistik und Wahlen der Stadt Dortmund and Prof. Dr. C. Weihs, University of Dortmund, local organizer.

Contest Goal and Data

Many cities have problems characterizing the social milieus of the different city districts. A correct classification of these milieus enables the cities to monitor changes and be able to react, if a milieu change of a district might be undesirable, or to detect positive developments. This information are valuable for example in determining the value of buildings and for the development of micro locations.

Therefore, the goal of this contest is to develop a statistical model and criteria for the classification of the social milieus of the city, using the following variables provided by the city of Dortmund:

  • population structure,
  • unemployment,
  • no. of employees,
  • no. of welfare recipients,
  • motoring, and
  • buildings

Participants may even add other relevant data. The data is available for 170 statistical sub-districts of Dortmund.

The data together with a map of the Dortmund sub-districts can be requested under

Steps suggested for the data analysis include:

  1. Clustering of sub-districts (unsupervised learning). The geographical relationship of the clusters has to be taken into account. Spatial smoothing may be neccessary.
  2. Interpretation of the clusters and assignment of milieu types.
  3. Deriving a classification rule for the milieu types.
  4. Characterization of classes (i.e. milieu types) by the measured variables.

Other steps leading to comparable results are welcome, too.


There will be two prizes awarded:

  • For the mathematically best solution 500 €, and
  • for the substantially most relevant solution for the city of Dortmund 500€ plus an organized stay in Dortmund.

Participants have to register for the conference, if they want to present their solution. All accepted solutions are welcome to be presented in a series of special sections at the conference. A jury will award the two prizes.

The two awarded solutions are planned to be presented in special talks at the reception of the city of Dortmund.

Submission of Complete Paper with Results


November 22, 2003 (Extended Deadline).

Sent to:
Format: see our authoring guidelines