Output-Sensitive Tools for Range Searching in Higher Dimensions

Micha Sharir, Shai Zaban

Let $P$ be a set of $n$ points in ${\mathbb R}^{d}$. A point $p \in P$ is $k$\emph{-shallow} if it lies in a halfspace which contains at most $k$ points of $P$ (including $p$). We show that if all points of $P$ are $k$-shallow, then $P$ can be partitioned into $\Theta(n/k)$ subsets, so that any hyperplane crosses at most $O((n/k)^{1-1/(d-1)} \log^{2/(d-1)}(n/k))$ subsets. Given such a partition, we can apply the standard construction of a spanning tree with small crossing number within each subset, to obtain a spanning tree for the point set $P$, with crossing number $O(n^{1-1/(d-1)}k^{1/d(d-1)} \log^{2/(d-1)}(n/k))$. This allows us to extend the construction of Har-Peled and Sharir \cite{hs11} to three and higher dimensions, to obtain, for any set of $n$ points in ${\mathbb R}^{d}$ (without the shallowness assumption), a spanning tree $T$ with {\em small relative crossing number}. That is, any hyperplane which contains $w \leq n/2$ points of $P$ on one side, crosses $O(n^{1-1/(d-1)}w^{1/d(d-1)} \log^{2/(d-1)}(n/w))$ edges of $T$. Using a similar mechanism, we also obtain a data structure for halfspace range counting, which uses $O(n \log \log n)$ space (and somewhat higher preprocessing cost), and answers a query in time $O(n^{1-1/(d-1)}k^{1/d(d-1)} (\log (n/k))^{O(1)})$, where $k$ is the output size.

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