The Continuous 1.5D Terrain Guarding Problem: Discretization, Optimal Solutions, and PTAS

17 May 2016  ·  Friedrichs Stephan, Hemmer Michael, King James, Schmidt Christiane ·

In the NP-hard continuous 1.5D Terrain Guarding Problem (TGP) we are given an $x$-monotone chain of line segments in $\mathbb{R}^2$ (the terrain $T$) and ask for the minimum number of guards (located anywhere on $T$) required to guard all of $T$. We construct guard candidate and witness sets $G, W \subset T$ of polynomial size such that any feasible (optimal) guard cover $G^* \subseteq G$ for $W$ is also feasible (optimal) for the continuous TGP... This discretization allows us to (1) settle NP-completeness for the continuous TGP, (2) provide a Polynomial Time Approximation Scheme (PTAS) for the continuous TGP using the PTAS for the discrete TGP by Gibson et al., and (3) formulate the continuous TGP as an Integer Linear Program (IP). Furthermore, we propose several filtering techniques reducing the size of our discretization, allowing us to devise an efficient IP-based algorithm that reliably provides optimal guard placements for terrains with up to $10^6$ vertices within minutes on a standard desktop computer. read more

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Computational Geometry

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