Minimal Locked Trees

  • Brad Ballinger
  • David Charlton
  • Erik D. Demaine
  • Martin L. Demaine
  • John Iacono
  • Ching-Hao Liu
  • Sheung-Hung Poon
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5664)


Locked tree linkages have been known to exist in the plane since 1998, but it is still open whether they have a polynomial-time characterization. This paper examines the properties needed for planar trees to lock, with a focus on finding the smallest locked trees according to different measures of complexity, and suggests some new avenues of research for the problem of algorithmic characterization. First we present a locked linear tree with only eight edges. In contrast, the smallest previous locked tree has 15 edges. We further show minimality by proving that every locked linear tree has at least eight edges. We also show that a six-edge tree can interlock with a four-edge chain, which is the first locking result for individually unlocked trees. Next we present several new examples of locked trees with varying minimality results. Finally, we provide counterexamples to two conjectures of [12], [13] by showing the existence of two new types of locked tree: a locked orthogonal tree (all edges horizontal and vertical) and a locked equilateral tree (all edges unit length).


Computational Geometry Positive Time Linear Tree Leaf Vertex Tree Linkage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brad Ballinger
    • 1
  • David Charlton
    • 2
  • Erik D. Demaine
    • 3
  • Martin L. Demaine
    • 3
  • John Iacono
    • 4
  • Ching-Hao Liu
    • 5
  • Sheung-Hung Poon
    • 5
  1. 1.Davis School for Independent StudyDavisUSA
  2. 2.Boston University Computer ScienceBostonUSA
  3. 3.MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence LaboratoryCambridgeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringPolytechnic Institute of NYUBrooklynUSA
  5. 5.Department of Computer ScienceNational Tsing Hua UniversityHsinchuTaiwan

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