How to morph graphs on the torus

With Erin Wolf Chambers, Patrick Lin*, and Salman Parsa.

🔥Proceedings of the 32nd ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, 2759–2778, 2021

We present the first algorithm to morph graphs on the torus. Given two isotopic essentially 3-connected embeddings of the same graph on the Euclidean flat torus, where the edges in both drawings are geodesics, our algorithm computes a continuous deformation from one drawing to the other, such that all edges are geodesics at all times. Previously even the existence of such a morph was not known. Our algorithm runs in O(n1+ω/2) time, where ω is the matrix multiplication exponent, and the computed morph consists of O(n) parallel linear morphing steps. Existing techniques for morphing planar straight-line graphs do not immediately generalize to graphs on the torus; in particular, Cairns‘ original 1944 proof and its more recent improvements rely on the fact that every planar graph contains a vertex of degree at most 5. Our proof relies on a subtle geometric analysis of 6-regular triangulations of the torus. We also make heavy use of a natural extension of Tutte’s spring embedding theorem to torus graphs.

Publications - Jeff Erickson ( 28 Jan 2021