PhD Defence: Approximation Algorithms for Geometric Networks
Date: September 25, 2007 (Tuesday) at 13:15
Mattias Andersson defends his thesis: Approximation Algorithms for Geometric Networks.
Faculty opponent is Prof. Marc van Kreveld from Utrecht university.
The main contribution of this thesis is approximation algorithms for several computational geometry problems. The underlying structure for most of the problems studied is a geometric network. A geometric network is, in its abstract form, a set of vertices, pairwise connected with an edge, such that the weight of this connecting edge is the Euclidean distance between the pair of points connected. Such a networkmay be used to represent a multitude of real-life structures, such as, for example, a set of cities connected with roads.
Considering the case that a specific network is given, we study three separate problems. In the first problem we consider the case of interconnected `islands' of well-connected networks, in which shortest paths are computed. In the second problem the input network is a triangulation. We efficiently simplify this triangulation using edge contractions. Finally, we consider individual movement trajectories representing, for example, wild animals where we compute leadership individuals.
Next, we consider the case that only a set of vertices is given, and the aim is to actually construct a network. We consider two such problems. In the first one we compute a partition of the vertices into several subsets where, considering the minimum spanning tree (MST) for each subset, we aim to minimize the largest MST. The other problem is to construct a $t$-spanner of low weight fast and simple. We do this by first extending the so-called gap theorem.
In addition to the above geometric network problems we also study a problem where we aim to place a set of different sized rectangles, such that the area of their corresponding bounding box is minimized, and such that a grid may be placed over the rectangles. The grid should not intersect any rectangle, and each cell of the grid should contain at most one rectangle.
All studied problems are such that they do not easily allow computation of optimal solutions in a feasible time. Instead we consider approximation algorithms, where near-optimal solutions are produced in polynomial time.
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