License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0)
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DOI: 10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2022.4
URN: urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-161644
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A. Akitaya, Hugo ; Demaine, Erik D. ; Korman, Matias ; Kostitsyna, Irina ; Parada, Irene ; Sonke, Willem ; Speckmann, Bettina ; Uehara, Ryuhei ; Wulms, Jules

Compacting Squares: Input-Sensitive In-Place Reconfiguration of Sliding Squares

LIPIcs-SWAT-2022-4.pdf (2 MB)


Edge-connected configurations of square modules, which can reconfigure through so-called sliding moves, are a well-established theoretical model for modular robots in two dimensions. Dumitrescu and Pach [Graphs and Combinatorics, 2006] proved that it is always possible to reconfigure one edge-connected configuration of n squares into any other using at most O(n²) sliding moves, while keeping the configuration connected at all times.
For certain pairs of configurations, reconfiguration may require Ω(n²) sliding moves. However, significantly fewer moves may be sufficient. We prove that it is NP-hard to minimize the number of sliding moves for a given pair of edge-connected configurations. On the positive side we present Gather&Compact, an input-sensitive in-place algorithm that requires only O( ̄P n) sliding moves to transform one configuration into the other, where ̄P is the maximum perimeter of the two bounding boxes. The squares move within the bounding boxes only, with the exception of at most one square at a time which may move through the positions adjacent to the bounding boxes. The O( ̄P n) bound never exceeds O(n²), and is optimal (up to constant factors) among all bounds parameterized by just n and ̄P. Our algorithm is built on the basic principle that well-connected components of modular robots can be transformed efficiently. Hence we iteratively increase the connectivity within a configuration, to finally arrive at a single solid xy-monotone component.
We implemented Gather&Compact and compared it experimentally to the in-place modification by Moreno and Sacristán [EuroCG 2020] of the Dumitrescu and Pach algorithm (MSDP). Our experiments show that Gather&Compact consistently outperforms MSDP by a significant margin, on all types of square configurations.

BibTeX - Entry

  author =	{A. Akitaya, Hugo and Demaine, Erik D. and Korman, Matias and Kostitsyna, Irina and Parada, Irene and Sonke, Willem and Speckmann, Bettina and Uehara, Ryuhei and Wulms, Jules},
  title =	{{Compacting Squares: Input-Sensitive In-Place Reconfiguration of Sliding Squares}},
  booktitle =	{18th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2022)},
  pages =	{4:1--4:19},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-95977-236-5},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2022},
  volume =	{227},
  editor =	{Czumaj, Artur and Xin, Qin},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-161644},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.SWAT.2022.4},
  annote =	{Keywords: Sliding cubes, Reconfiguration, Modular robots, NP-hardness}

Keywords: Sliding cubes, Reconfiguration, Modular robots, NP-hardness
Collection: 18th Scandinavian Symposium and Workshops on Algorithm Theory (SWAT 2022)
Issue Date: 2022
Date of publication: 22.06.2022
Supplementary Material: Software:

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