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From the zonotope construction to the Minkowski addition of convex polytopes. (English) Zbl 1121.52020
Summary: A zonotope is the Minkowski addition of line segments in \(\mathbb R^d\). The zonotope construction problem is to list all extreme points of a zonotope given by its line segments. By duality, it is equivalent to the arrangement construction problem-that is, to generate all regions of an arrangement of hyperplanes. By replacing line segments with convex \(V\)-polytopes, we obtain a natural generalization of the zonotope construction problem: the construction of the Minkowski addition of \(k\) polytopes. Gritzmann and Sturmfels studied this general problem in various aspects and presented polynomial algorithms for the problem when one of the parameters \(k\) or \(d\) is fixed. The main objective of the present work is to introduce an efficient algorithm for variable \(d\) and \(k\). Here we call an algorithm efficient or polynomial if it runs in time bounded by a polynomial function of both the input size and the output size. The algorithm is a natural extension of a known algorithm for the zonotope construction, based on linear programming and reverse search. It is compact, highly parallelizable and very easy to implement. This work has been motivated by the use of polyhedral computation for optimal tolerance determination in mechanical engineering.

MSC:
52A39 Mixed volumes and related topics in convex geometry
52B55 Computational aspects related to convexity
68U05 Computer graphics; computational geometry (digital and algorithmic aspects)
Software:
cdd; CDDMEX
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References:
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