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Media Exposition

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 293, 40th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2024)

The sliding cubes model is a well-established theoretical framework that supports the analysis of reconfiguration algorithms for modular robots consisting of face-connected cubes. This note accompanies a video that explains our in-place algorithm for reconfiguration in the sliding cubes model. Specifically, our algorithm [Irina Kostitsyna et al., 2023] reconfigures any n-cube configuration into a compact canonical shape using a number of moves proportional to the sum of coordinates of the input cubes. As is common in the literature, we can then reconfigure between two arbitrary shapes via their canonical configurations. The number of moves performed by our algorithm is asymptotically worst-case optimal and strictly improves upon the current state-of-the-art.

Irina Kostitsyna, Tim Ophelders, Irene Parada, Tom Peters, Willem Sonke, and Bettina Speckmann. Optimal In-Place Compaction of Sliding Cubes (Media Exposition). In 40th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 293, pp. 89:1-89:4, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{kostitsyna_et_al:LIPIcs.SoCG.2024.89, author = {Kostitsyna, Irina and Ophelders, Tim and Parada, Irene and Peters, Tom and Sonke, Willem and Speckmann, Bettina}, title = {{Optimal In-Place Compaction of Sliding Cubes}}, booktitle = {40th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2024)}, pages = {89:1--89:4}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-316-4}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {293}, editor = {Mulzer, Wolfgang and Phillips, Jeff M.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2024.89}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-200347}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2024.89}, annote = {Keywords: Sliding cubes, Reconfiguration algorithm, Modular robots} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 294, 19th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2024)

The sliding cubes model is a well-established theoretical framework that supports the analysis of reconfiguration algorithms for modular robots consisting of face-connected cubes. As is common in the literature, we focus on reconfiguration via an intermediate canonical shape. Specifically, we present an in-place algorithm that reconfigures any n-cube configuration into a compact canonical shape using a number of moves proportional to the sum of coordinates of the input cubes. This result is asymptotically optimal and strictly improves on all prior work. Furthermore, our algorithm directly extends to dimensions higher than three.

Irina Kostitsyna, Tim Ophelders, Irene Parada, Tom Peters, Willem Sonke, and Bettina Speckmann. Optimal In-Place Compaction of Sliding Cubes. In 19th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 294, pp. 31:1-31:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{kostitsyna_et_al:LIPIcs.SWAT.2024.31, author = {Kostitsyna, Irina and Ophelders, Tim and Parada, Irene and Peters, Tom and Sonke, Willem and Speckmann, Bettina}, title = {{Optimal In-Place Compaction of Sliding Cubes}}, booktitle = {19th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2024)}, pages = {31:1--31:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-318-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {294}, editor = {Bodlaender, Hans L.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2024.31}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-200713}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2024.31}, annote = {Keywords: Sliding cubes, Reconfiguration algorithm, Modular robots} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 227, 18th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2022)

Edge-connected configurations of square modules, which can reconfigure through so-called sliding moves, are a well-established theoretical model for modular robots in two dimensions. Dumitrescu and Pach [Graphs and Combinatorics, 2006] proved that it is always possible to reconfigure one edge-connected configuration of n squares into any other using at most O(n²) sliding moves, while keeping the configuration connected at all times.
For certain pairs of configurations, reconfiguration may require Ω(n²) sliding moves. However, significantly fewer moves may be sufficient. We prove that it is NP-hard to minimize the number of sliding moves for a given pair of edge-connected configurations. On the positive side we present Gather&Compact, an input-sensitive in-place algorithm that requires only O( ̄P n) sliding moves to transform one configuration into the other, where ̄P is the maximum perimeter of the two bounding boxes. The squares move within the bounding boxes only, with the exception of at most one square at a time which may move through the positions adjacent to the bounding boxes. The O( ̄P n) bound never exceeds O(n²), and is optimal (up to constant factors) among all bounds parameterized by just n and ̄P. Our algorithm is built on the basic principle that well-connected components of modular robots can be transformed efficiently. Hence we iteratively increase the connectivity within a configuration, to finally arrive at a single solid xy-monotone component.
We implemented Gather&Compact and compared it experimentally to the in-place modification by Moreno and Sacristán [EuroCG 2020] of the Dumitrescu and Pach algorithm (MSDP). Our experiments show that Gather&Compact consistently outperforms MSDP by a significant margin, on all types of square configurations.

Hugo A. Akitaya, Erik D. Demaine, Matias Korman, Irina Kostitsyna, Irene Parada, Willem Sonke, Bettina Speckmann, Ryuhei Uehara, and Jules Wulms. Compacting Squares: Input-Sensitive In-Place Reconfiguration of Sliding Squares. In 18th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 227, pp. 4:1-4:19, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{a.akitaya_et_al:LIPIcs.SWAT.2022.4, author = {A. Akitaya, Hugo and Demaine, Erik D. and Korman, Matias and Kostitsyna, Irina and Parada, Irene and Sonke, Willem and Speckmann, Bettina and Uehara, Ryuhei and Wulms, Jules}, title = {{Compacting Squares: Input-Sensitive In-Place Reconfiguration of Sliding Squares}}, booktitle = {18th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2022)}, pages = {4:1--4:19}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-236-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {227}, editor = {Czumaj, Artur and Xin, Qin}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2022.4}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-161644}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2022.4}, annote = {Keywords: Sliding cubes, Reconfiguration, Modular robots, NP-hardness} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 198, 48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021)

In extension problems of partial graph drawings one is given an incomplete drawing of an input graph G and is asked to complete the drawing while maintaining certain properties. A prominent area where such problems arise is that of crossing minimization. For plane drawings and various relaxations of these, there is a number of tractability as well as lower-bound results exploring the computational complexity of crossing-sensitive drawing extension problems. In contrast, comparatively few results are known on extension problems for the fundamental and broad class of simple drawings, that is, drawings in which each pair of edges intersects in at most one point. In fact, the extension problem of simple drawings has only recently been shown to be NP-hard even for inserting a single edge.
In this paper we present tractability results for the crossing-sensitive extension problem of simple drawings. In particular, we show that the problem of inserting edges into a simple drawing is fixed-parameter tractable when parameterized by the number of edges to insert and an upper bound on newly created crossings. Using the same proof techniques, we are also able to answer several closely related variants of this problem, among others the extension problem for k-plane drawings. Moreover, using a different approach, we provide a single-exponential fixed-parameter algorithm for the case in which we are only trying to insert a single edge into the drawing.

Robert Ganian, Thekla Hamm, Fabian Klute, Irene Parada, and Birgit Vogtenhuber. Crossing-Optimal Extension of Simple Drawings. In 48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 198, pp. 72:1-72:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{ganian_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.72, author = {Ganian, Robert and Hamm, Thekla and Klute, Fabian and Parada, Irene and Vogtenhuber, Birgit}, title = {{Crossing-Optimal Extension of Simple Drawings}}, booktitle = {48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021)}, pages = {72:1--72:17}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-195-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {198}, editor = {Bansal, Nikhil and Merelli, Emanuela and Worrell, James}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.72}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-141412}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.72}, annote = {Keywords: Simple drawings, Extension problems, Crossing minimization, FPT-algorithms} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 189, 37th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2021)

We give both efficient algorithms and hardness results for reconfiguring between two connected configurations of modules in the hexagonal grid. The reconfiguration moves that we consider are "pivots", where a hexagonal module rotates around a vertex shared with another module. Following prior work on modular robots, we define two natural sets of hexagon pivoting moves of increasing power: restricted and monkey moves. When we allow both moves, we present the first universal reconfiguration algorithm, which transforms between any two connected configurations using O(n³) monkey moves. This result strongly contrasts the analogous problem for squares, where there are rigid examples that do not have a single pivoting move preserving connectivity. On the other hand, if we only allow restricted moves, we prove that the reconfiguration problem becomes PSPACE-complete. Moreover, we show that, in contrast to hexagons, the reconfiguration problem for pivoting squares is PSPACE-complete regardless of the set of pivoting moves allowed. In the process, we strengthen the reduction framework of Demaine et al. [FUN'18] that we consider of independent interest.

Hugo A. Akitaya, Erik D. Demaine, Andrei Gonczi, Dylan H. Hendrickson, Adam Hesterberg, Matias Korman, Oliver Korten, Jayson Lynch, Irene Parada, and Vera Sacristán. Characterizing Universal Reconfigurability of Modular Pivoting Robots. In 37th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 189, pp. 10:1-10:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{a.akitaya_et_al:LIPIcs.SoCG.2021.10, author = {A. Akitaya, Hugo and Demaine, Erik D. and Gonczi, Andrei and Hendrickson, Dylan H. and Hesterberg, Adam and Korman, Matias and Korten, Oliver and Lynch, Jayson and Parada, Irene and Sacrist\'{a}n, Vera}, title = {{Characterizing Universal Reconfigurability of Modular Pivoting Robots}}, booktitle = {37th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2021)}, pages = {10:1--10:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-184-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {189}, editor = {Buchin, Kevin and Colin de Verdi\`{e}re, \'{E}ric}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2021.10}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-138094}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2021.10}, annote = {Keywords: reconfiguration, geometric algorithm, PSPACE-hardness, pivoting hexagons, pivoting squares, modular robots} }

Document

Media Exposition

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 164, 36th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2020)

Face-connected configurations of cubes are a common model for modular robots in three dimensions. In this abstract and the accompanying video we study reconfigurations of such modular robots using so-called sliding moves. Using sliding moves, it is always possible to reconfigure one face-connected configuration of n cubes into any other, while keeping the robot connected at all stages of the reconfiguration. For certain configurations Ω(n²) sliding moves are necessary. In contrast, the best current upper bound is O(n³). It has been conjectured that there is always a cube on the outside of any face-connected configuration of cubes which can be moved without breaking connectivity. The existence of such a cube would immediately imply a straight-forward O(n²) reconfiguration algorithm. However, we present a configuration of cubes such that no cube on the outside can move without breaking connectivity. In other words, we show that this particular avenue towards an O(n²) reconfiguration algorithm for face-connected cubes is blocked.

Tillmann Miltzow, Irene Parada, Willem Sonke, Bettina Speckmann, and Jules Wulms. Hiding Sliding Cubes: Why Reconfiguring Modular Robots Is Not Easy (Media Exposition). In 36th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 164, pp. 78:1-78:5, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{miltzow_et_al:LIPIcs.SoCG.2020.78, author = {Miltzow, Tillmann and Parada, Irene and Sonke, Willem and Speckmann, Bettina and Wulms, Jules}, title = {{Hiding Sliding Cubes: Why Reconfiguring Modular Robots Is Not Easy}}, booktitle = {36th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2020)}, pages = {78:1--78:5}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-143-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {164}, editor = {Cabello, Sergio and Chen, Danny Z.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2020.78}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-122363}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2020.78}, annote = {Keywords: Sliding cubes, Reconfiguration, Modular robots} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 144, 27th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2019)

We present the first universal reconfiguration algorithm for transforming a modular robot between any two facet-connected square-grid configurations using pivot moves. More precisely, we show that five extra "helper" modules ("musketeers") suffice to reconfigure the remaining n modules between any two given configurations. Our algorithm uses O(n^2) pivot moves, which is worst-case optimal. Previous reconfiguration algorithms either require less restrictive "sliding" moves, do not preserve facet-connectivity, or for the setting we consider, could only handle a small subset of configurations defined by a local forbidden pattern. Configurations with the forbidden pattern do have disconnected reconfiguration graphs (discrete configuration spaces), and indeed we show that they can have an exponential number of connected components. But forbidding the local pattern throughout the configuration is far from necessary, as we show that just a constant number of added modules (placed to be freely reconfigurable) suffice for universal reconfigurability. We also classify three different models of natural pivot moves that preserve facet-connectivity, and show separations between these models.

Hugo A. Akitaya, Esther M. Arkin, Mirela Damian, Erik D. Demaine, Vida Dujmović, Robin Flatland, Matias Korman, Belen Palop, Irene Parada, André van Renssen, and Vera Sacristán. Universal Reconfiguration of Facet-Connected Modular Robots by Pivots: The O(1) Musketeers. In 27th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 144, pp. 3:1-3:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{akitaya_et_al:LIPIcs.ESA.2019.3, author = {Akitaya, Hugo A. and Arkin, Esther M. and Damian, Mirela and Demaine, Erik D. and Dujmovi\'{c}, Vida and Flatland, Robin and Korman, Matias and Palop, Belen and Parada, Irene and van Renssen, Andr\'{e} and Sacrist\'{a}n, Vera}, title = {{Universal Reconfiguration of Facet-Connected Modular Robots by Pivots: The O(1) Musketeers}}, booktitle = {27th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2019)}, pages = {3:1--3:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-124-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {144}, editor = {Bender, Michael A. and Svensson, Ola and Herman, Grzegorz}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2019.3}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-111247}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ESA.2019.3}, annote = {Keywords: Reconfiguration, geometric algorithm, pivoting squares, modular robots} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 77, 33rd International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2017)

Let P be a finite set of points in the plane in general position, that is, no three points of P are on a common line. We say that a set H of five points from P is a 5-hole in P if H is the vertex set of a convex 5-gon containing no other points of P. For a positive integer n, let h_5(n) be the minimum number of 5-holes among all sets of n points in the plane in general position.
Despite many efforts in the last 30 years, the best known asymptotic lower and upper bounds for h_5(n) have been of order Omega(n) and O(n^2), respectively. We show that h_5(n) = Omega(n(log n)^(4/5)), obtaining the first superlinear lower bound on h_5(n).
The following structural result, which might be of independent interest, is a crucial step in the proof of this lower bound. If a finite set P of points in the plane in general position is partitioned by a line l into two subsets, each of size at least 5 and not in convex position, then l intersects the convex hull of some 5-hole in P. The proof of this result is computer-assisted.

Oswin Aichholzer, Martin Balko, Thomas Hackl, Jan Kyncl, Irene Parada, Manfred Scheucher, Pavel Valtr, and Birgit Vogtenhuber. A Superlinear Lower Bound on the Number of 5-Holes. In 33rd International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 77, pp. 8:1-8:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{aichholzer_et_al:LIPIcs.SoCG.2017.8, author = {Aichholzer, Oswin and Balko, Martin and Hackl, Thomas and Kyncl, Jan and Parada, Irene and Scheucher, Manfred and Valtr, Pavel and Vogtenhuber, Birgit}, title = {{A Superlinear Lower Bound on the Number of 5-Holes}}, booktitle = {33rd International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2017)}, pages = {8:1--8:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-038-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {77}, editor = {Aronov, Boris and Katz, Matthew J.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2017.8}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-72008}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2017.8}, annote = {Keywords: Erd\"{o}s-Szekeres type problem, k-hole, empty k-gon, empty pentagon, planar point set} }

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