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Spirality and Rectilinear Planarity Testing of Independent-Parallel SP-Graphs

by   Walter Didimo, et al.

We study the long-standing open problem of efficiently testing rectilinear planarity of series-parallel graphs (SP-graphs) in the variable embedding setting. A key ingredient behind the design of a linear-time testing algorithm for SP-graphs of vertex-degree at most three is that one can restrict the attention to a constant number of “rectilinear shapes” for each series or parallel component. To formally describe these shapes the notion of spirality can be used. This key ingredient no longer holds for SP-graphs with vertices of degree four, as we prove a logarithmic lower bound on the spirality of their components. The bound holds even for the independent-parallel SP-graphs, in which no two parallel components share a pole. Nonetheless, by studying the spirality properties of the independent-parallel SP-graphs, we are able to design a linear-time rectilinear planarity testing algorithm for this graph family.


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