Ray shooting in polygons using geodesic triangulations

B. Chazelle, H. Edelsbrunner, M. Grigni, L. Guibas, J. Hershberger, M. Sharir, J. Snoeyink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Let P be a simple polygon with n vertices. We present a simple decomposition scheme that partitions the interior of P into O(n) so-called geodesic triangles, so that any line segment interior to P crosses at most 2 log n of these triangles. This decomposition can be used to preprocess P in a very simple manner, so that any ray-shooting query can be answered in time O(log n). The data structure requires O(n) storage and O(n log n) preprocessing time. By using more sophisticated techniques, we can reduce the preprocessing time to O(n). We also extend our general technique to the case of ray shooting amidst k polygonal obstacles with a total of n edges, so that a query can be answered in O(√ log n) time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-68
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Computational geometry
  • Ray-shooting
  • Triangulation


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