A generalization of Kakeya’s problem

Otfried Cheong

Department of Computer Science, KAIST

Department of Computer Science, KAIST

2011/4/14 Thu 4:30PM-5:30PM

One version of Kakeya’s problem asks for the smallest convex garden in which a ladder of length one can be rotated fully. The answer to this question was shown to be the equilateral triangle of height one by Pal in 1920.

We consider the following generalization: Given a (not necessarily finite) family F of line segments in the plane, what is the smallest convex figure K such that every segment in F can be translated to lie in K?

We show that as in the classic case, the answer can always be chosen to be a triangle. We also give an O(n log n) time algorithm to compute such an optimal triangle if F consists of n line segments.

Joint work with Sang Won Bae, Hee-Kap Ahn, Joachim Gudmundsson, Takeshi Tokuyama, and Antoine Vigneron.

Tags: OtfriedCheong