Looking for a Heads-Up

Bud Curtis Bud at CurtisCAE.cnchost.com
Wed Jul 8 09:46:50 PDT 1998

Nancy Amato suggested that I post this inquiry to this news group.  I hope
you don't mind this inquiry.  It has been my experience that it is better to
ask for insight versus experiencing it directly once you have gone down a
blind alley with an algorithm development.

I am planning a development that involves the placement of 2D circles in a
restricted area.  I would appreciate any leads you may have with regard to a
similar study or project at a University.

The best way to describe the development is to imagine a cluster of
balloons.  Each balloon has a fixed (equal) diameter and has an elastic
string tied to it.  The other end of the string is tied to an origin point.
Each balloon's origin is spaced from another's origin in an arbitrary
pattern.  The origin to origin spacing is typically less than the diameter
of a balloon, so a balloon can't be placed over its origin without pushing
the adjacent balloons off their origins.  The object of the development is
to bring all the balloons as close to their origins as possible (minimizing
the tension of the elastic string) with each balloon just touching.

I have two fairly straight forward approaches, but frequently they do not
represent the best way to solve the problem.  One would simply explode the
balloons from a geometric center beyond any possible intersection with the
other balloons.  Then it would use the elastic string to pull the balloons
back as close as possible to the respective origin never allowing overlap
while doing the pull back.  The other would start with each balloon at its
origin and then working from computed overlap forces move the balloons until
no overlap occurs.  I would be very interested in any suggestions you might
have of similar research I could review.

Thank you for listening, and please excuse the intrusion.

|Bud Curtis                Bud at CurtisCAE.cnchost.com
|Curtis CAE Consultants
|15065 Herring Road
|Colorado Springs, CO  80908    (719)495-8266
| Custom Database & Information Processing for
| the Design & Manufacturing Industry

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