Computing largest minimum color-spanning intervals of imprecise points

Maria Saumell Mendiola, 11 Dec 2023

We study a geometric facility location problem under imprecision.

Given \(n\) unit intervals in the real line, each with one of \(k\) colors, the goal is to place one point in each interval such that the resulting minimum color-spanning interval is as large as possible.

A minimum color-spanning interval is an interval of minimum size that contains at least one point from a given interval of each color. We prove that if the input intervals are pairwise disjoint, the problem can be solved in \(O(n)\) time, even for intervals of arbitrary length. For overlapping intervals, we show that the problem can be solved in \(O(n^2 log n)\) time when \(k=2\). Interestingly, this shows a sharp contrast with the \(2\)-dimensional version of the problem, recently shown to be NP-hard.