Improved Dynamic Geodesic Nearest Neighbor Searching in a Simple Polygon

Pankaj K. Agarwal, Lars Arge, Frank Staals

We present an efficient dynamic data structure that supports geodesic nearest neighbor queries for a set $S$ of point sites in a static simple polygon $P$. Our data structure allows us to insert a new site in $S$, delete a site from $S$, and ask for the site in $S$ closest to an arbitrary query point $q \in P$. All distances are measured using the geodesic distance, that is, the length of the shortest path that is completely contained in $P$. Our data structure achieves polylogarithmic update and query times, and uses $O(n\log^3n\log m + m)$ space, where $n$ is the number of sites in $S$ and $m$ is the number of vertices in $P$. The crucial ingredient in our data structure is an implicit representation of a vertical shallow cutting of the geodesic distance functions. We show that such an implicit representation exists, and that we can compute it efficiently.

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