Discrete & Computational Geometry

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 105–130 | Cite as

On Functional Separately Convex Hulls

  • J. Matoušek
  • P. Plecháč


Let D be a set of vectors in R d . A function f:R d R is called D-convex if its restriction to each line parallel to a nonzero vector of D is a convex function. For a set A⊆R d , the functional D-convex hull of A, denoted by co D (A) , is the intersection of the zero sets of all nonnegative D -convex functions that are 0 on A .

We prove some results concerning the structure of functional D -convex hulls, e.g., a Krein—Milman-type theorem and a result on separation of connected components.

We give a polynomial-time algorithm for computing co D (A) for a finite point set A (in any fixed dimension) in the case of D being a basis of R d (the case of separate convexity).

This research is primarily motivated by questions concerning the so-called rank-one convexity, which is a particular case of D -convexity and is important in the theory of systems of nonlinear partial differential equations and in mathematical modeling of microstructures in solids. As a direct contribution to the study of rank-one convexity, we construct a configuration of 20 symmetric 2 x 2 matrices in a general (stable) position with a nontrivial functionally rank-one convex hull (answering a question of K. Zhang on the existence of higher-dimensional nontrivial configurations of points and matrices).


Differential Equation Mathematical Modeling Partial Differential Equation Convex Function Convex Hull 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Matoušek
    • 1
  • P. Plecháč
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied Mathematics, Charles University, Malostranské nám. 25, 118 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic matousek@kam.mff.cuni.czCZ
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics, Heriot—Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland UK

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