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40
The computational Complexity of Knot and Link Problems
 J. ACM
, 1999
"... We consider the problem of deciding whether a polygonal knot in 3dimensional Euclidean space is unknotted, capable of being continuously deformed without selfintersection so that it lies in a plane. We show that this problem, unknotting problem is in NP. We also consider the problem, unknotting pr ..."
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Cited by 61 (9 self)
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We consider the problem of deciding whether a polygonal knot in 3dimensional Euclidean space is unknotted, capable of being continuously deformed without selfintersection so that it lies in a plane. We show that this problem, unknotting problem is in NP. We also consider the problem, unknotting problem of determining whether two or more such polygons can be split, or continuously deformed without selfintersection so that they occupy both sides of a plane without intersecting it. We show that it also is in NP. Finally, we show that the problem of determining the genus of a polygonal knot (a generalization of the problem of determining whether it is unknotted) is in PSPACE. We also give exponential worstcase running time bounds for deterministic algorithms to solve each of these problems. These algorithms are based on the use of normal surfaces and decision procedures due to W. Haken, with recent extensions by W. Jaco and J. L. Tollefson.
The size of spanning disks for polygonal curves
 Discrete Comput. Geom
"... Abstract. For each integer n ≥ 0, there is a closed, unknotted, polygonal curve Kn in R 3 having less than 10n + 9 edges, with the property that any PiecewiseLinear triangulated disk spanning the curve contains at least 2 n−1 triangles. 1. Introduction. Let K be a closed polygonal curve in R3 consi ..."
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Cited by 10 (1 self)
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Abstract. For each integer n ≥ 0, there is a closed, unknotted, polygonal curve Kn in R 3 having less than 10n + 9 edges, with the property that any PiecewiseLinear triangulated disk spanning the curve contains at least 2 n−1 triangles. 1. Introduction. Let K be a closed polygonal curve in R3 consisting of n line segments. Assume that K is unknotted, so that it is the boundary of an embedded disk in R3. This paper considers the question: How many triangles are needed to triangulate a PiecewiseLinear (PL) spanning disk of K? The main result, Theorem 1 below,
The computational complexity of knot genus and spanning area
 electronic), arXiv: math.GT/0205057. MR MR2219001
"... Abstract. We show that the problem of deciding whether a polygonal knot in a closed threedimensional manifold bounds a surface of genus at most g is NPcomplete. We also show that the problem of deciding whether a curve in a PL manifold bounds a surface of area less than a given constant C is NPha ..."
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Cited by 9 (0 self)
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Abstract. We show that the problem of deciding whether a polygonal knot in a closed threedimensional manifold bounds a surface of genus at most g is NPcomplete. We also show that the problem of deciding whether a curve in a PL manifold bounds a surface of area less than a given constant C is NPhard. 1.
The size of triangulations supporting a given link
, 2000
"... Abstract. Let T be a triangulation of S 3 containing a link L in its 1skeleton. We give an explicit lower bound for the number of tetrahedra of T in terms of the bridge number of L. Our proof is based on the theory of almost normal surfaces. 1. ..."
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Cited by 8 (6 self)
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Abstract. Let T be a triangulation of S 3 containing a link L in its 1skeleton. We give an explicit lower bound for the number of tetrahedra of T in terms of the bridge number of L. Our proof is based on the theory of almost normal surfaces. 1.
Motion Planning for Knot Untangling
 Int. J. of Robotics Research
, 2002
"... When given a very tangled but unknotted circular piece of string it is usually quite easy to move it around and tug on parts of it until it untangles. However solving this problem by computer, either exactly or heuristically, is challenging. Various approaches have been tried, employing ideas from a ..."
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Cited by 8 (5 self)
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When given a very tangled but unknotted circular piece of string it is usually quite easy to move it around and tug on parts of it until it untangles. However solving this problem by computer, either exactly or heuristically, is challenging. Various approaches have been tried, employing ideas from algebra, geometry, topology and optimization. This paper investigates the application of motion planning techniques to the untangling of mathematical knots. Such an approach brings together robotics and knotting at the intersection of these fields: rational manipulation of a physical model. In the past, simulated annealing and other energy minimization methods have been used to find knot untangling paths for physical models. Using a probabilistic planner, we have untangled some standard benchmarks described by over four hundred variables much more quickly than has been achieved with minimization. We also show how to produce candidates with minimal number of segments for a given knot. We discuss novel motion planning techniques that were used in our algorithm and some possible applications of our untangling planner in computational topology and in the study of DNA rings.
The size of spanning disks for polygonal knots
, 1999
"... For each integer n ≥ 1 we construct a closed unknotted Piecewise Linear curve Kn in R 3 having less than 11n edges with the property that any Piecewise Linear triangluated disk spanning the curve contains at least 2 n−1 triangles. 1 Introduction. We show the existence of a sequence of unknotted simp ..."
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Cited by 6 (1 self)
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For each integer n ≥ 1 we construct a closed unknotted Piecewise Linear curve Kn in R 3 having less than 11n edges with the property that any Piecewise Linear triangluated disk spanning the curve contains at least 2 n−1 triangles. 1 Introduction. We show the existence of a sequence of unknotted simple closed curves Kn in R 3 having the following properties: • The curve Kn is a polygon with at most 11n edges. • Any Piecewise Linear (PL) embedding of a triangulated disk into R 3 with
Invariants of Knot Diagrams
 MATHEMATISCHE ANNALEN
, 2008
"... We construct a new order 1 invariant for knot diagrams. We use it to determine the minimal number of Reidemeister moves needed to pass between certain pairs of knot diagrams. ..."
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Cited by 5 (2 self)
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We construct a new order 1 invariant for knot diagrams. We use it to determine the minimal number of Reidemeister moves needed to pass between certain pairs of knot diagrams.
Unknot diagrams requiring a quadratic number of Reidemeister moves to untangle
, 2007
"... We present a sequence of diagrams of the unknot for which the minimum number of Reidemeister moves required to pass to the trivial diagram is quadratic with respect to the number of crossings. These bounds apply both in S 2 and in R 2. 1 ..."
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Cited by 5 (1 self)
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We present a sequence of diagrams of the unknot for which the minimum number of Reidemeister moves required to pass to the trivial diagram is quadratic with respect to the number of crossings. These bounds apply both in S 2 and in R 2. 1
Area inequalities for embedded disks spanning unknotted curves
 2003, arXiv:math.DG/0306313. EFFICIENTLY BOUND 4MANIFOLDS 43
"... We show that a smooth unknotted curve in R 3 satisfies an isoperimetric inequality that bounds the area of an embedded disk spanning the curve in terms of two parameters: the length L of the curve and the thickness r (maximal radius of an embedded tubular neighborhood) of the curve. For fixed length ..."
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We show that a smooth unknotted curve in R 3 satisfies an isoperimetric inequality that bounds the area of an embedded disk spanning the curve in terms of two parameters: the length L of the curve and the thickness r (maximal radius of an embedded tubular neighborhood) of the curve. For fixed length, the expression giving the upper bound on the area grows exponentially in 1/r 2. In the direction of lower bounds, we give a sequence of length one curves with r→0for which the area of any spanning disk is bounded from below by a function that grows exponentially with 1/r. In particular, given any constant A, there is a smooth, unknotted length one curve for which the area of a smallest embedded spanning disk is greater than A. 1