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Removing Connected Obstacles in the Plane is FPT

by   Eduard Eiben, et al.

Given two points in the plane, a set of obstacles defined by closed curves, and an integer k, does there exist a path between the two designated points intersecting at most k of the obstacles? This is a fundamental and well-studied problem arising naturally in computational geometry, graph theory, wireless computing, and motion planning. It remains NP-hard even when the obstacles are very simple geometric shapes (e.g., unit-length line segments). In this paper, we show that the problem is fixed-parameter tractable (FPT) parameterized by k, by giving an algorithm with running time k^O(k^3)n^O(1). Here n is the number connected areas in the plane drawing of all the obstacles.


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