Geometric Approach to Optimal Path Problem with Uncertain Arc Lengths
Keywords:Shortest path problem, Homotopy, Covering space, Cycle
In this paper, the problem of finding the shortest paths, one of the most important problems in science and technology has been geometrically studied. Shortest path algorithm has been generalized to the shortest cycles in each homotopy class on a surface with arbitrary topology, using the universal covering space notion in the algebraic topology. Then, a general algorithm has been presented to compute the shortest cycles (geometrically rather than combinatorial) in each homotopy class. The algorithm can handle surface meshes with the desired topology, with or without boundary. It also provides a fundamental framework for other algorithms based on universal coverage space due to the capacity and flexibility of the framework.
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