eng
Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik
Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics
1868-8969
2015-06-12
739
753
10.4230/LIPIcs.SOCG.2015.739
article
Approximability of the Discrete Fréchet Distance
Bringmann, Karl
Mulzer, Wolfgang
The Fréchet distance is a popular and widespread distance measure for point sequences and for curves. About two years ago, Agarwal et al [SIAM J. Comput. 2014] presented a new (mildly) subquadratic algorithm for the discrete version of the problem. This spawned a flurry of activity that has led to several new algorithms and lower bounds.
In this paper, we study the approximability of the discrete Fréchet distance. Building on a recent result by Bringmann [FOCS 2014], we present a new conditional lower bound that strongly subquadratic algorithms for the discrete Fréchet distance are unlikely to exist, even in the one-dimensional case and even if the solution may be approximated up to a factor of 1.399.
This raises the question of how well we can approximate the Fréchet distance (of two given d-dimensional point sequences of length n) in strongly subquadratic time. Previously, no general results were known. We present the first such algorithm by analysing the approximation ratio of a simple, linear-time greedy algorithm to be 2^Theta(n). Moreover, we design an alpha-approximation algorithm that runs in time O(n log n + n^2 / alpha), for any alpha in [1, n]. Hence, an n^epsilon-approximation of the Fréchet distance can be computed in strongly subquadratic time, for any epsilon > 0.
https://drops.dagstuhl.de/storage/00lipics/lipics-vol034-socg2015/LIPIcs.SOCG.2015.739/LIPIcs.SOCG.2015.739.pdf
Fréchet distance
approximation
lower bounds
Strong Exponential Time Hypothesis