On Minimum Generalized Manhattan Connections

10/27/2020 ∙ by Antonios Antoniadis, et al. ∙ 0

We consider minimum-cardinality Manhattan connected sets with arbitrary demands: Given a collection of points P in the plane, together with a subset of pairs of points in P (which we call demands), find a minimum-cardinality superset of P such that every demand pair is connected by a path whose length is the ℓ_1-distance of the pair. This problem is a variant of three well-studied problems that have arisen in computational geometry, data structures, and network design: (i) It is a node-cost variant of the classical Manhattan network problem, (ii) it is an extension of the binary search tree problem to arbitrary demands, and (iii) it is a special case of the directed Steiner forest problem. Since the problem inherits basic structural properties from the context of binary search trees, an O(log n)-approximation is trivial. We show that the problem is NP-hard and present an O(√(log n))-approximation algorithm. Moreover, we provide an O(loglog n)-approximation algorithm for complete bipartite demands as well as improved results for unit-disk demands and several generalizations. Our results crucially rely on a new lower bound on the optimal cost that could potentially be useful in the context of BSTs.

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