Shortest Paths Among Transient Obstacles
Arash Nouri

We present an optimal $\Theta(n \log n)$ algorithm for determining time-minimal rectilinear paths among $n$ transient rectilinear obstacles. An obstacle is transient if it exists in the scene only for a specific time interval, i.e., it appears and then disappears at specific times.

Given a point robot moving with bounded speed among transient rectilinear obstacles and a pair of points $s$, $d$, we determine a time-minimal, obstacle-avoiding path from $s$ to $d$. The main challenge in solving this problem arises as the robot may be required to wait for an obstacle to disappear, before it can continue moving toward the destination. Our algorithm builds on the continuous Dijkstra paradigm, which simulates propagating a wavefront from the source point.