Better lower bounds on detecting affine and spherical degeneracies

Written with Raimund Seidel.
Discrete & Computational Geometry 13(1):41-57, 1995.
Erratum in Discrete & Computational Geometry 18:239-240, 1997.

Proceedings of the 34th IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, 528-536, 1993.

We show that in the worst case, Omega(nd) sidedness queries are required to determine whether a set of n points in Rd is affinely degenerate, i.e., whether it contains d+1 points on a common hyperplane. This matches known upper bounds. We give a straightforward adversary argument, based on the explicit construction of a point set containing Omega(nd) ``collapsible'' simplices, any one of which can be made degenerate without changing the orientation of any other simplex. As an immediate corollary, we have an Omega(nd) lower bound on the number of sidedness queries required to determine the order type of a set of n points in Rd. Using similar techniques, we also show that Omega(nd+1) in­sphere queries are required to decide the existence of spherical degeneracies in a set of n points in Rd.

Publications - Jeff Erickson ( 15 Nov 1999