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On the convex layers of a planar set. (English) Zbl 0573.68035
Let S be a set of n points in the Euclidean plane. The convex layers of S are the convex polygons obtained by iterating on the following procedure: compute the convex hull of S and remove its vertices from S. This process of peeling a planar point set is central in the study of robust estimators in statistics. It also provides valuable information on the morphology of a set of sites and has proven to be an efficient preconditioning for range search problems. An optimal algorithm is described for computing the convex layers of S. The algorithm runs in O(n log n) time and requires O(n) space. Also addressed is the problem of determining the depth of a query point within the convex layers of S, i.e., the number of layers that enclose the query point. This is essentially a planar point location problem, for which optimal solutions are therefore known. Taking advantage of structural properties of the problem, however, a much simpler optimal solution is derived.

MSC:
68R99 Discrete mathematics in relation to computer science
52Bxx Polytopes and polyhedra
51M20 Polyhedra and polytopes; regular figures, division of spaces
68P10 Searching and sorting
68Q25 Analysis of algorithms and problem complexity
68P20 Information storage and retrieval of data
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