Computational geometry emerged from the field of algorithms design and analysis in the late 1970s. It has grown into a recognized discipline with its own journals, conferences, and a large community of active researchers. The success of the field as a research discipline can on the one hand be explained from the beauty of the problems studied and the solutions obtained, and, on the other hand, by the many application domains—computer graphics, geographic information systems (GIS), robotics, and others—in which geometric algorithms play a fundamental role.
For many geometric problems the early algorithmic solutions were either slow or difficult to understand and implement. In recent years a number of new algorithmic techniques have been developed that improved and simplified many of the previous approaches. In this textbook we have tried to make these modern algorithmic solutions accessible to a large audience. The book has been written as a textbook for a course in computational geometry, but it can also be used for self-study.
Structure of the book. Each of the sixteen chapters (except the introductory chapter) starts with a problem arising in one of the application domains. This problem is then transformed into a purely geometric one, which is solved using techniques from computational geometry. The geometric problem and the concepts and techniques needed to solve it are the real topic of each chapter. The choice of the applications was guided by the topics in computational geometry we wanted to cover; they are not meant to provide a good coverage of the application domains. The purpose of the applications is to motivate the reader; the goal of the chapters is not to provide ready-to-use solutions for them. Having said this, we believe that knowledge of computational geometry is important to solve geometric problems in application areas efficiently. We hope that our book will not only raise the interest of people from the algorithms community, but also from people in the application areas.
For most geometric problems treated we give just one solution, even when a number of different solutions exist. In general we have chosen the solution that is easiest to understand and implement. This is not necessarily the most efficient solution. We also took care that the book contains a good mixture of techniques like divide-and-conquer, plane sweep, and randomized algorithms. We decided not to treat all sorts of variations to the problems; we felt it is more important to introduce all main topics in computational geometry than to give more detailed information about a smaller number of topics.
Computational Geometry: Algorithms and Applications, 3e
Mark de Berg, Otfried Cheong, Marc van Kreveld and Mark Overmars
© 2008, 2000, 1997 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
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