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The Influence of the Zonation Effect on a System of Hierarchical Functional Regions


Background: Hierarchical functional regions (FRs) can be calculated using data on interactions between basic spatial units (BSUs) and a hierarchical aggregation procedure. However, the results depend on the selected system of initial BSUs. In spatial sciences, this is known as the zonation effect, which is one of the effects of the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). Objectives: In this paper, we analyse the influence of the zonation effect on a system of hierarchical functional regions. Methods/Approach: We compared two systems of hierarchical functional regions of Slovenia modelled by the Intramax aggregation procedure using the inter-municipal labour commuting flows for the same year, but for two different initial sets of municipalities. Besides, we have introduced a new measure to compare systems of hierarchical FRs. Results: The results show that the zonation effect has an influence on hierarchical functional regions. The clustering comparison measure suggested here is a metric measure, which is appropriate for comparing hierarchical FRs. Conclusions: The zonation effect has influence on hierarchical FRs. The clustering comparison measure suggested in this paper is easy to interpret, but it should be adjusted for the number of clusterings