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Title:In pursuit of linear complexity in discrete and computational geometry
Author(s):Raichel, Benjamin A.
Director of Research:Har-Peled, Sariel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Har-Peled, Sariel
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Chekuri, Chandra; Clarkson, Kenneth; Erickson, Jeff
Department / Program:Computer Science
Discipline:Computer Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Computational Geometry
Discrete Geometry
Computational Topology
Geometric Optimization
Contour Trees
Voronoi Diagrams
Abstract:Many computational problems arise naturally from geometric data. In this thesis, we consider three such problems: (i) distance optimization problems over point sets, (ii) computing contour trees over simplicial meshes, and (iii) bounding the expected complexity of weighted Voronoi diagrams. While these topics are broad, here the focus is on identifying structure which implies linear (or near linear) algorithmic and descriptive complexity. The first topic we consider is in geometric optimization. More specifically, we define a large class of distance problems, for which we provide linear time exact or approximate solutions. Roughly speaking, the class of problems facilitate either clustering together close points (i.e. netting) or throwing out outliers (i.e pruning), allowing for successively smaller summaries of the relevant information in the input. A surprising number of classical geometric optimization problems are unified under this framework, including finding the optimal k-center clustering, the kth ranked distance, the kth heaviest edge of the MST, the minimum radius ball enclosing k points, and many others. In several cases we get the first known linear time approximation algorithm for a given problem, where our approximation ratio matches that of previous work. The second topic we investigate is contour trees, a fundamental structure in computational topology. Contour trees give a compact summary of the evolution of level sets on a mesh, and are typically used on massive data sets. Previous algorithms for computing contour trees took Θ(n log n) time and were worst-case optimal. Here we provide an algorithm whose running time lies between Θ(nα(n)) and Θ(n log n), and varies depending on the shape of the tree, where α(n) is the inverse Ackermann function. In particular, this is the first algorithm with O(nα(n)) running time on instances with balanced contour trees. Our algorithmic results are complemented by lower bounds indicating that, up to a factor of α(n), on all instance types our algorithm performs optimally. For the final topic, we consider the descriptive complexity of weighted Voronoi diagrams. Such diagrams have quadratic (or higher) worst-case complexity, however, as was the case for contour trees, here we push beyond worst-case analysis. A new diagram, called the candidate diagram, is introduced, which allows us to bound the complexity of weighted Voronoi diagrams arising from a particular probabilistic input model. Specifically, we assume weights are randomly permuted among fixed Voronoi sites, an assumption which is weaker than the more typical sampled locations assumption. Under this assumption, the expected complexity is shown to be near linear.
Issue Date:2015-07-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Benjamin Adam Raichel
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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