Timothy M. Chan's Publications: Geometric shortest paths

Constant-hop spanners for more geometric intersection graphs, with even smaller size

(with Zhengcheng Huang)

In SoCG 2022, Conroy and Tóth presented several constructions of sparse, low-hop spanners in geometric intersection graphs, including an O(n log n)-size 3-hop spanner for n disks (or fat convex objects) in the plane, and an O(n log^2 n)-size 3-hop spanner for n axis-aligned rectangles in the plane. Their work left open two major questions: (i) can the size be made closer to linear by allowing larger constant stretch? and (ii) can near-linear size be achieved for more general classes of intersection graphs?

We address both questions simultaneously, by presenting new constructions of constant-hop spanners that have almost linear size and that hold for a much larger class of intersection graphs. More precisely, we prove the existence of an O(1)-hop spanner for arbitrary string graphs with O(n alpha_k(n)) size for any constant k, where alpha-k(n) denotes the k-th function in the inverse Ackermann hierarchy. We similarly prove the existence of an O(1)-hop spanner for intersection graphs of d-dimensional fat objects with O(n alpha_k(n)) size for any constant k and d.

We also improve on some of Conroy and Tóth's specific previous results, in either the number of hops or the size: we describe an O(n log n)-size 2-hop spanner for disks (or more generally objects with linear union complexity) in the plane, and an O(n log n)-size 3-hop spanner for axis-aligned rectangles in the plane. Our proofs are all simple, using separator theorems, recursion, shifted quadtrees, and shallow cuttings.

Approximate shortest paths and distance oracles in weighted unit-disk graphs

(with Dimitrios Skrepetos)

We present the first near-linear-time (1+epsilon)-approximation algorithm for the diameter of a weighted unit-disk graph of n vertices, running in O(n log^2 n) time, for any constant epsilon > 0, improving the near-O(n^{3/2})-time algorithm of Gao and Zhang [STOC 2003]. Using similar ideas, we can construct a (1+epsilon)-approximate distance oracle for weighted unit-disk graphs with O(1) query time, with a similar improvement in the preprocessing time, from near O(n^{3/2}) to O(n log^3 n). We also obtain new results for a number of other related problems in the weighted unit-disk graph metric, such as the radius and bichromatic closest pair.

As a further application, we use our new distance oracle, along with additional ideas, to solve the (1+epsilon)-approximate all-pairs bounded-leg shortest paths problem for a set of n planar points, with near O(n^{2.579}) preprocessing time, O(n^2 log n) space, and O(log log n) query time, improving thus the near-cubic preprocessing bound by Roditty and Segal [SODA 2007].

All-pairs shortest paths in geometric intersection graphs

(with Dimitrios Skrepetos)

We address the All-Pairs Shortest Paths (APSP) problem for a number of unweighted, undirected geometric intersection graphs. We present a general reduction of the problem to static, offline intersection searching (specifically detection). As a consequence, we can solve APSP for intersection graphs of n arbitrary disks in O(n^2 log n) time, axis-aligned line segments in O(n^2 loglog n) time, arbitrary line segments in O(n^{7/3} log^{1/3} n) time, d-dimensional axis-aligned boxes in O(n^2 log^{d-1.5} n) time for d >= 2, and d-dimensional axis-aligned unit hypercubes in O(n^2 loglog n) time for d=3 and O(n^2 log^{d-3} n) time for d >= 4.

In addition, we show how to solve the Single-Source Shortest Paths (SSSP) problem in unweighted intersection graphs of axis-aligned line segments in O(n log n) time, by a reduction to dynamic orthogonal point location.

All-pairs shortest paths in unit disk graphs in slightly subquadratic time

(with Dimitrios Skrepetos)

In this paper we study the all-pairs shortest paths problem in (unweighted) unit-disk graphs. The previous best solution for this problem required O(n^2 log n) time, by running the O(n log n)-time single-source shortest path algorithm of Cabello and Jejcic (2015) from every source vertex, where n is the number of vertices. We not only manage to eliminate the logarithmic factor, but also obtain the first (slightly) subquadratic algorithm for the problem, running in O(n^2 sqrt{loglog n/log n}) time. Our algorithm computes an implicit representation of all the shortest paths, and, in the same amount of time, can also compute the diameter of the graph.

More algorithms for all-pairs shortest paths in weighted graphs

In the first part of the paper, we reexamine the all-pairs shortest paths (APSP) problem and present a new algorithm with running time approaching O(n^3 log^3log n / log^2 n), which improves all known algorithms for general real-weighted dense graphs.

In the second part of the paper, we use fast matrix multiplication to obtain truly subcubic APSP algorithms for a large class of "geometrically weighted" graphs, where the weight of an edge is a function of the coordinates of its vertices. For example, for graphs embedded in Euclidean space of a constant dimension d, we obtain a time bound near O(n^{3-(3-w)/(2d+4)}), where w < 2.376; in two dimensions, this is O(n^{2.922}). Our framework greatly extends the previously considered case of small-integer-weighted graphs, and incidentally also yields the first truly subcubic result (near O(n^{3-(3-w)/4}) = O(n^{2.844}) time) for APSP in real-vertex-weighted graphs, as well as an improved result (near O(n^{(3+w)/2}) = O(n^{2.688}) time) for the all-pairs lightest shortest path problem for small-integer-weighted graphs.

Fly cheaply: on the minimum fuel consumption problem

Alon Efrat)

In planning a flight, stops at intermediate airports are sometimes necessary to minimize fuel consumption, even if a direct flight is available. We investigate the problem of finding the cheapest path from one airport to another, given a set of n airports in R^2 and a function l: R^2 x R^2 -> R^+ representing the cost of a direct flight between any pair.

Given a source airport s, the cheapest-path map is a subdivision of R^2 where two points lie in the same region iff their cheapest paths from s use the same sequence of intermediate airports. We show a quadratic lower bound on the combinatorial complexity of this map for a class of cost functions. Nevertheless, we are able to obtain subquadratic algorithms to find the cheapest path from s to all other airports for any well-behaved cost function l: our general algorithm runs in O(n^{4/3+eps}) time, and a simpler, more practical variant runs in O(n^{3/2+eps}) time, while a special class of cost functions requires just O(n log n) time.

Copyright Notice

The documents contained in this directory are included by the contributing authors as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a non-commercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Timothy Chan (Last updated Aug 2023)