An algorithmic study of fully dynamic independent sets for map labeling

Sujoy Bhore, Guangping Li, Martin Nöllenburg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Map labeling is a classical problem in cartography and geographic information systems (GIS) that asks to place labels for area, line, and point features, with the goal to select and place the maximum number of independent, i.e., overlap-free, labels. A practically interesting case is point labeling with axis-parallel rectangular labels of common size. In a fully dynamic setting, at each time step, either a new label appears or an existing label disappears. Then, the challenge is to maintain a maximum cardinality subset of pairwise independent labels with sub-linear update time. Motivated by this, we study the maximal independent set (MIS) and maximum independent set (Max-IS) problems on fully dynamic (insertion/deletion model) sets of axis-parallel rectangles of two types – (i) uniform height and width and (ii) uniform height and arbitrary width; both settings can be modeled as rectangle intersection graphs. We present the first deterministic algorithm for maintaining a MIS (and thus a 4-approximate Max-IS) of a dynamic set of uniform rectangles with amortized sub-logarithmic update time. This breaks the natural barrier of Ω(∆) update time (where ∆ is the maximum degree in the graph) for vertex updates presented by Assadi et al. (STOC 2018). We continue by investigating Max-IS and provide a series of deterministic dynamic approximation schemes. For uniform rectangles, we first give an algorithm that maintains a 4-approximate Max-IS with O(1) update time. In a subsequent algorithm, we establish the trade-off between approximation quality 2(1 + k1 ) and update time O(k2 log n), for k ∈ N. We conclude with an algorithm that maintains a 2-approximate Max-IS for dynamic sets of unit-height and arbitrary-width rectangles with O(ω log n) update time, where ω is the maximum size of an independent set of rectangles stabbed by any horizontal line. We have implemented our algorithms and report the results of an experimental comparison exploring the trade-off between solution quality and update time for synthetic and real-world map labeling instances.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication28th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms, ESA 2020
EditorsFabrizio Grandoni, Grzegorz Herman, Peter Sanders
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959771627
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event28th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms, ESA 2020 - Virtual, Pisa, Italy
Duration: 7 Sep 20209 Sep 2020

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Conference28th Annual European Symposium on Algorithms, ESA 2020
CityVirtual, Pisa


  • Approximation Algorithms
  • Dynamic Algorithms
  • Experimental Evaluation
  • Independent Sets
  • Rectangle Intersection Graphs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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