Infoscience

Thesis

Decomposition of Geometric Set Systems and Graphs

We study two decomposition problems in combinatorial geometry. The first part of the thesis deals with the decomposition of multiple coverings of the plane. We say that a planar set is cover-decomposable if there is a constant m such that any m-fold covering of the plane with its translates is decomposable into two disjoint coverings of the whole plane. Pach conjectured that every convex set is cover-decomposable. We verify his conjecture for polygons. Moreover, if m is large enough, depending on k and the polygon, we prove that any m-fold covering can even be decomposed into k coverings. Then we show that the situation is exactly the opposite in three dimensions, for any polyhedron and any m we construct an m-fold covering of the space that is not decomposable. We also give constructions that show that concave polygons are usually not cover-decomposable. We start the first part with a detailed survey of all results on the cover-decomposability of polygons. The second part of the thesis investigates another geometric partition problem, related to planar representation of graphs. Wade and Chu defined the slope number of a graph G as the smallest number s with the property that G has a straight-line drawing with edges of at most s distinct slopes and with no bends. We examine the slope number of bounded degree graphs. Our main results are that if the maximum degree is at least 5, then the slope number tends to infinity as the number of vertices grows but every graph with maximum degree at most 3 can be embedded with only five slopes. We also prove that such an embedding exists for the related notion called slope parameter. Finally, we study the planar slope number, defined only for planar graphs as the smallest number s with the property that the graph has a straight-line drawing in the plane without any crossings such that the edges are segments of only s distinct slopes. We show that the planar slope number of planar graphs with bounded degree is bounded.

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