Rotational polygon containment and minimum enclosure using only robust 2D constructions

Victor J. Milenkovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


An algorithm and a robust floating point implementation is given for rotational polygon containment: given polygons P1, P2, P3, . . ., Pk and a container polygon C, find rotations and translations for the k polygons that place them into the container without overlapping. A version of the algorithm and implementation also solves rotational minimum enclosure: given a class C of container polygons, find a container C ∈ C of minimum area for which containment has a solution. The minimum enclosure is approximate: it bounds the minimum area between (1 - ε)A and A. Experiments indicate that finding the minimum enclosure is practical for k = 2, 3 but not larger unless optimality is sacrificed or angles ranges are limited (although these solutions can still be useful). Important applications for these algorithm to industrial problems are discussed. The paper also gives practical algorithms and numerical techniques for robustly calculating polygon set intersection, Minkowski sum, and range intersection: the intersection of a polygon with itself as it rotates through a range of angles. In particular, it introduces nearest pair rounding, which allows all these calculations to be carried out in rounded floating point arithmetic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalComputational Geometry: Theory and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Containment
  • Geometric rounding
  • Layout
  • Minimum enclosure
  • Packing or nesting of irregular polygons
  • Robust geometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Geometry and Topology
  • Control and Optimization
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics


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