Minimum Ply Covering of Points with Disks and Squares

by   Therese Biedl, et al.

Following the seminal work of Erlebach and van Leeuwen in SODA 2008, we introduce the minimum ply covering problem. Given a set P of points and a set S of geometric objects, both in the plane, our goal is to find a subset S' of S that covers all points of P while minimizing the maximum number of objects covering any point in the plane (not only points of P). For objects that are unit squares and unit disks, this problem is NP-hard and cannot be approximated by a ratio smaller than 2. We present 2-approximation algorithms for this problem with respect to unit squares and unit disks. Our algorithms run in polynomial time when the optimum objective value is bounded by a constant. Motivated by channel-assignment in wireless networks, we consider a variant of the problem where the selected unit disks must be 3-colorable, i.e., colored by three colors such that all disks of the same color are pairwise disjoint. We present a polynomial-time algorithm that achieves a 2-approximate solution, i.e., a solution that is 6-colorable. We also study the weighted version of the problem in dimension one, where P and S are points and weighted intervals on a line, respectively. We present an algorithm that solves this problem in O(n + m + M )-time where n is the number of points, m is the number of intervals, and M is the number of pairs of overlapping intervals. This repairs a solution claimed by Nandy, Pandit, and Roy in CCCG 2017.


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