SCG 2006
Conference paper

Minimum-cost coverage of point sets by disks

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We consider a class of geometric facility location problems in which the goal is to determine a set X of disks given by their centers (tj) and radii (rj) that cover a given set of demand points Y ⊂ ℝ2 at the smallest possible cost. We consider cost functions of the form Σjf(rj), where f(r) = rα is the cost of transmission to radius r. Special cases arise for α = 1 (sum of radii) and α = 2 (total area); power consumption models in wireless network design often use an exponent α > 2. Different scenarios arise according to possible restrictions on the transmission centers tj, which may be constrained to belong to a given discrete set or to lie on a line, etc. We obtain several new results, including (a) exact and approximation algorithms for selecting transmission points tj on a given line in order to cover demand points Y ⊂ ℝ2; (b) approximation algorithms (and an algebraic intractability result) for selecting an optimal line on which to place transmission points to cover Y; (c) a proof of NP-hardness for a discrete set of transmission points in ℝ2 and any fixed α > 1; and (d) a polynomial-time approximation scheme for the problem of computing a minimum cost covering tour (MCCT), in which the total cost is a linear combination of the transmission cost for the set of disks and the length of a tour/path that connects the centers of the disks. Copyright 2006 ACM.