Covering Points by Unit Disks of Fixed Location

  • Paz Carmi
  • Matthew J. Katz
  • Nissan Lev-Tov
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4835)


Given a set \({\mathcal P}\) of points in the plane, and a set \({\mathcal D}\) of unit disks of fixed location, the discrete unit disk cover problem is to find a minimum-cardinality subset \({\mathcal D}' \subseteq {\mathcal D}\) that covers all points of \({\mathcal P}\). This problem is a geometric version of the general set cover problem, where the sets are defined by a collection of unit disks. It is still NP-hard, but while the general set cover problem is not approximable within \(c \log |{\mathcal P}|\), for some constant c, the discrete unit disk cover problem was shown to admit a constant-factor approximation. Due to its many important applications, e.g., in wireless network design, much effort has been invested in trying to reduce the constant of approximation of the discrete unit disk cover problem. In this paper we significantly improve the best known constant from 72 to 38, using a novel approach. Our solution is based on a 4-approximation that we devise for the subproblem where the points of \({\mathcal P}\) are located below a line l and contained in the subset of disks of \({\mathcal D}\) centered above l. This problem is of independent interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paz Carmi
    • 1
  • Matthew J. Katz
    • 2
  • Nissan Lev-Tov
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Computer Science, Carleton University, OttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-ShevaIsrael

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