A superlinear lower bound on the number of 5-holes

Oswin Aichholzer, Martin Balko, Thomas Hackl, Jan Kynčl, Irene Parada, Manfred Scheucher, Pavel Valtr, Birgit Vogtenhuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Let P be a finite set of points in the plane in general position, that is, no three points of P are on a common line. We say that a set H of five points from P is a 5-hole in P if H is the vertex set of a convex 5-gon containing no other points of P. For a positive integer n, let h5(n) be the minimum number of 5-holes among all sets of n points in the plane in general position. Despite many efforts in the last 30 years, the best known asymptotic lower and upper bounds for h5(n) have been of order Ω(n) and O(n2), respectively. We show that h5(n)=Ω(nlog4/5⁡n), obtaining the first superlinear lower bound on h5(n). The following structural result, which might be of independent interest, is a crucial step in the proof of this lower bound. If a finite set P of points in the plane in general position is partitioned by a line ℓ into two subsets, each of size at least 5 and not in convex position, then ℓ intersects the convex hull of some 5-hole in P. The proof of this result is computer-assisted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105236
JournalJournal of Combinatorial Theory. Series A
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Empty k-gon
  • Empty pentagon
  • Erdös–Szekeres type problem
  • Planar point set
  • k-Hole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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