Transitions in geometric minimum spanning trees
Anthony D'Angelo
Carleton University

We study some combinatorial and algorithmic problems associated with an arbitrary motion of input points in space. The motivation for such an investigation comes from two different sources: computer modeling and sensitivity analysis. In modeling, the dynamics enters the picture since geometric objects often model physical entities whose positions can change over time. In sensitivity analysis, the motion of the input points might represent uncertainties in the precise location of objects.

The main results of the paper deal with state transitions in the minimum spanning tree when one or more of the input points move arbitrarily in space. In particular, questions of the following form are addressed: (i) How many different minimum spanning trees can arise if one point moves while the others remain fixed? (ii) When does the minimum spanning tree change its topology if all points are allowed to move arbitrarily?

The talk is based on a paper by Monma and Suri.