Exact Computation of Delaunay and Power Triangulations

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In this paper we present a topologically correct and efficient version of the algorithm by Guibas and Stolfi (Algorithmica 7 (1992), pp. 381-413) for the exact computation of Delaunay and power triangulations in two dimensions. The algorithm avoids numerical errors and degeneracies caused by the accumulation of rounding errors in fixed length floating point arithmetic when constructing these triangulations.Most methods for computing Delaunay and power triangulations involve the calculation of two basic primitives: the INCIRCLE test and the CCW orientation test. Both primitives require the computation of the sign of a determinant. The key to our method is the exact computation of this sign and is based on an algorithm for determining the sign of the sum of a finite set of normalized floating point numbers of fixed mantissa length (machine numbers) exactly. The exact computation of the primitives allows the construction of the correct Delaunay and power triangulations. The method has been implemented and tested for the incremental construction of Delaunay and power triangulations. Tests have been conducted for different distributions of points for which non-exact algorithms may encounter difficulties, for example, slightly perturbed points on a grid or on a circle. Experimental results show that the performance of our implementation is comparable with that of a simple implementation of the incremental algorithm in single precision floating point arithmetic. For random distribution of points the exact algorithm is only 4 times slower than the inexact implementation. The algorithm is easy to implement, robust and portable as long as the input data to the algorithm remains exact.

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