License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0)
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DOI: 10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2023.9
URN: urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-178592
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Arya, Sunil ; Mount, David M.

Optimal Volume-Sensitive Bounds for Polytope Approximation

LIPIcs-SoCG-2023-9.pdf (1 MB)


Approximating convex bodies is a fundamental question in geometry and has a wide variety of applications. Consider a convex body K of diameter Δ in ℝ^d for fixed d. The objective is to minimize the number of vertices (alternatively, the number of facets) of an approximating polytope for a given Hausdorff error ε. It is known from classical results of Dudley (1974) and Bronshteyn and Ivanov (1976) that Θ((Δ/ε)^{(d-1)/2}) vertices (alternatively, facets) are both necessary and sufficient. While this bound is tight in the worst case, that of Euclidean balls, it is far from optimal for skinny convex bodies.
A natural way to characterize a convex object’s skinniness is in terms of its relationship to the Euclidean ball. Given a convex body K, define its volume diameter Δ_d to be the diameter of a Euclidean ball of the same volume as K, and define its surface diameter Δ_{d-1} analogously for surface area. It follows from generalizations of the isoperimetric inequality that Δ ≥ Δ_{d-1} ≥ Δ_d.
Arya, da Fonseca, and Mount (SoCG 2012) demonstrated that the diameter-based bound could be made surface-area sensitive, improving the above bound to O((Δ_{d-1}/ε)^{(d-1)/2}). In this paper, we strengthen this by proving the existence of an approximation with O((Δ_d/ε)^{(d-1)/2}) facets.
This improvement is a result of the combination of a number of new ideas. As in prior work, we exploit properties of the original body and its polar dual. In order to obtain a volume-sensitive bound, we explore the following more general problem. Given two convex bodies, one nested within the other, find a low-complexity convex polytope that is sandwiched between them. We show that this problem can be reduced to a covering problem involving a natural intermediate body based on the harmonic mean. Our proof relies on a geometric analysis of a relative notion of fatness involving these bodies.

BibTeX - Entry

  author =	{Arya, Sunil and Mount, David M.},
  title =	{{Optimal Volume-Sensitive Bounds for Polytope Approximation}},
  booktitle =	{39th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2023)},
  pages =	{9:1--9:16},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-95977-273-0},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2023},
  volume =	{258},
  editor =	{Chambers, Erin W. and Gudmundsson, Joachim},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-178592},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.SoCG.2023.9},
  annote =	{Keywords: Approximation algorithms, convexity, Macbeath regions}

Keywords: Approximation algorithms, convexity, Macbeath regions
Collection: 39th International Symposium on Computational Geometry (SoCG 2023)
Issue Date: 2023
Date of publication: 09.06.2023

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