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The Role of Convexity for Solving Some Shortest Path Problems in Plane Without Triangulation

An, P. T. ; Nguyen Ngoc Hai; Tran Van Hoai

Proceedings of International Conference Numerical Analysis and Applied Mathematics, AIP Conference Proceedings (ICNAAM 2013), American Institute of Physics, New York, 1557 (2013), 89-93

Solving shortest path problems inside simple polygons is a very classical problem in motion planning. To date, it has usually relied on triangulation of the polygons. The question: "Can one devise a simple O(n) time algorithm for computing the shortest path between two points in a simple polygon (with n vertices), without resorting to a (complicated) linear-time triangulation algorithm?" raised by J. S. B. Mitchell in Handbook of Computational Geometry (J. Sack and J. Urrutia, eds., Elsevier Science B.V., 2000), is still open. The aim of this paper is to show that convexity contributes to the design of efficient algorithms for solving some versions of shortest path problems (namely, computing the convex hull of a finite set of points and convex rope on rays in 2D, computing approximate shortest path between two points inside a simple polygon) without triangulation on the entire polygons. New algorithms are implemented in C and numerical examples are presented.