CS 269S, Spring 2014: Theory Seminar
ICS Building, Room 243, 1pm
May 23, 2013:

The complexity of order type isomorphism

Michael Bannister

The order type of a point set in $R^d$ maps each $(d{+}1)$-tuple of points to its orientation (e.g., clockwise or counterclockwise in $R^2$). Two point sets $X$ and $Y$ have the same order type if there exists a mapping $f$ from $X$ to $Y$ for which every $(d{+}1)$-tuple $(a_1,a_2,\ldots,a_{d+1})$ of $X$ and the corresponding tuple $(f(a_1),f(a_2),\ldots,f(a_{d+1}))$ in $Y$ have the same orientation. In this paper we investigate the complexity of determining whether two point sets have the same order type. We provide an $O(n^d)$ algorithm for this task, thereby improving upon the $O(n^{\lfloor{3d/2}\rfloor})$ algorithm of Goodman and Pollack (1983). The algorithm uses only order type queries and also works for abstract order types (or acyclic oriented matroids). Our algorithm is optimal, both in the abstract setting and for realizable points sets if the algorithm only uses order type queries.

(From a paper at SODA 2014 by Greg Aloupis, John Iacono, Stefan Langerman, and Özgör Özkan.)