In this paper we study a few proximity problems related to a set of pairwise-disjoint segments in {ℝ}². Let S be a set of n pairwise-disjoint segments in {ℝ}², and let r > 0 be a parameter. We define the segment proximity graph of S to be G_r(S) := (S,E), where E = {(e₁,e₂) ∣ dist(e₁,e₂) ≤ r} and dist (e₁,e₂) = min_{(p,q) ∈ e₁× e₂} ‖p-q‖ is the Euclidean distance between e₁ and e₂. We define the weight of an edge (e₁,e₂) ∈ E to be dist(e₁,e₂).

We first present a simple grid-based O(nlog² n)-time algorithm for computing a BFS tree of G_r(S). We apply it to obtain an O^*(n^{6/5}) + O(nlog²nlogΔ)-time algorithm for the so-called reverse shortest path problem, in which we want to find the smallest value r^* for which G_{r^*}(S) contains a path of some specified length between two designated start and target segments (where the O^*(⋅) notation hides polylogarithmic factors). Here Δ = max_{e ≠ e' ∈ S} dist(e,e')/min_{e ≠ e' ∈ S} dist(e,e') is the spread of S.

Next, we present a dynamic data structure that can maintain a set S of pairwise-disjoint segments in the plane under insertions/deletions, so that, for a query segment e from an unknown set Q of pairwise-disjoint segments, such that e does not intersect any segment in (the current version of) S, the segment of S closest to e can be computed in O(log⁵ n) amortized time. The amortized update time is also O(log⁵ n). We note that if the segments in S∪Q are allowed to intersect then the known lower bounds on halfplane range searching suggest that a sequence of n updates and queries may take at least close to Ω(n^{4/3}) time. One thus has to strongly rely on the non-intersecting property of S and Q to perform updates and queries in O(polylog(n)) (amortized) time each.

Using these results on nearest-neighbor (NN) searching for disjoint segments, we show that a DFS tree (or forest) of G_r(S) can be computed in O^*(n) time. We also obtain an O^*(n)-time algorithm for constructing a minimum spanning tree of G_r(S).

Finally, we present an O^*(n^{4/3})-time algorithm for computing a single-source shortest-path tree in G_r(S). This is the only result that does not exploit the disjointness of the input segments.