Journal of the ACM Bibliography

Gary L. Miller, Shang-Hua Teng, William Thurston, and Stephen A. Vavasis. Separators for sphere-packings and nearest neighbor graphs. Journal of the ACM, 44(1):1-29, January 1997. [BibTeX entry]

A collection of n balls in d dimensions forms a k-ply system if no point in the space is covered by more than k balls. We show that for every k-ply system G, there is a sphere S that intersects at most O(k^{1/d} n^{1 - 1/d}) balls of G and divides the remainder of G into two parts: those in the interior and those in the exterior of the sphere S, respectively, so that the larger part contains at most (1 - 1/(d + 2))n balls. This bound of O(k^{1/d} n^{1 - 1/d}) is the best possible in both n and k. We also present a simple randomized algorithm to find such a sphere in O(n) time. Our result implies that every k-nearest neighbor graphs of n points in d dimensions has a separator of size O(k^{1/d} n^{1 - 1/d}). In conjunction with a result of Koebe that every triangulated planar graph is isomorphic to the intersection graph of a disk-packing, our result not only gives a new geometric proof of the planar separator theorem of Lipton and Tarjan, but also generalizes it to higher dimensions. The separator algorithm can be used for point location and geometric divide and conquer in a fixed dimensional space.

The abstract is also available as a LaTeX file, a DVI file, or a PostScript file.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: E.1 [Data Structures] -- graphs, trees; F.2.1 [Analysis of Algorithms and Problem Complexity]: Numerical Algorithms and Problems -- computation of transforms; F.2.2 [Analysis of Algorithms and Problem Complexity]: Nonnumerical Algorithms and Problems -- computaions on discrete structures, geometrical problems and computations, sorting and searching; G.2.1 [Discrete Mathematics]: Combinatorics; G.2.2 [Discrete Mathematics]: Graph Theory -- graph algorithms, trees; G.3 [Probability and Statistics] -- probabilistic algorithms, random number generation; G.4 [Mathematical Software] -- algorithm analysis, efficiency

General Terms: Algorithms, Theory

Additional Key Words and Phrases: Centerpoint, computational geometry, graph algorithms, graph separators, partitioning, probabilistic method, point location, randomized algorithm, sphere-preserving mapping

Selected references


  • Journal of the ACM homepage
  • Bibliography top level
  • Journal of the ACM Author Index
  • Search the HBP database