Finding the Maximum Subset with Bounded Convex Curvature

Authors Mikkel Abrahamsen, Mikkel Thorup

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Mikkel Abrahamsen
Mikkel Thorup

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Mikkel Abrahamsen and Mikkel Thorup. Finding the Maximum Subset with Bounded Convex Curvature. In 32nd International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 51, pp. 4:1-4:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


We describe an algorithm for solving an important geometric problem arising in computer-aided manufacturing. When machining a pocket in a solid piece of material such as steel using a rough tool in a milling machine, sharp convex corners of the pocket cannot be done properly, but have to be left for finer tools that are more expensive to use. We want to determine a tool path that maximizes the use of the rough tool. Mathematically, this boils down to the following problem. Given a simply-connected set of points P in the plane such that the boundary of P is a curvilinear polygon consisting of n line segments and circular arcs of arbitrary radii, compute the maximum subset Q of P consisting of simply-connected sets where the boundary of each set is a curve with bounded convex curvature. A closed curve has bounded convex curvature if, when traversed in counterclockwise direction, it turns to the left with curvature at most 1. There is no bound on the curvature where it turns to the right. The difference in the requirement to left- and right-curvature is a natural consequence of different conditions when machining convex and concave areas of the pocket. We devise an algorithm to compute the unique maximum such set Q. The algorithm runs in O(n log n) time and uses O(n) space. For the correctness of our algorithm, we prove a new generalization of the Pestov-Ionin Theorem. This is needed to show that the output Q of our algorithm is indeed maximum in the sense that if Q' is any subset of P with a boundary of bounded convex curvature, then Q' is a subset of Q.
  • planar computational geometry
  • bounded curvature
  • pocket machining


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