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# On Cell Complexities in Hyperplane Arrangements

## Boris Aronov Micha Sharir July 14, 2003

Abstract We derive improved bounds on the complexity, i.e., the total number of faces of all dimensions, of many cells in arrangements of hyperplanes in higher dimensions, and use these bounds to obtain a very simple proof of an earlier bound, due to Aronov, Matouek, and Sharir, on the s sum of squares of cell complexities in such an arrangement.

## Complexity of Many Cells

In this note we consider collections of cells in arrangements of hyperplanes in d-dimensional space. The complexity of a cell is the total number of faces of all dimensions appearing on its boundary. The complexity of a collection of cells is the sum of the complexities of its members. The main goal is to derive sharp bounds on the maximum complexity of any collection of m arbitrary distinct cells in an arrangement of n hyperplanes in Rd . For more extensive background on the many cells problem considered in this paper, see [8, 12]. A variety of bounds have been derived in [1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11]. The problem has also been extended to the case of many cells in arrangements of curves or surfaces; see, e.g., [2, 3, 7, 9]. The main result of the paper improves upon the previous bound O(m1/2 nd/2 log(d/21)/2 n) given in : Theorem 1.1. The complexity of m distinct cells in an arrangement of n hyperplanes in d dimensions, for d 4, is O(m1/2 nd/2 log(d/22)/2 n) with the implied constant of proportionality depending on d. Proof. The proof proceeds by induction on d. The base case d = 4 depends on a sharper bound known for d = 3 and cited below. Let H be a collection of n hyperplanes in d-space. We will assume that the hyperplanes are in general position, meaning that any k hyperplanes meet in a (d k)-at, if k = 1, . . . , d, and
Work on this paper has been supported by a joint grant from the U.S.Israel Binational Science Foundation. Work by Boris Aronov was also supported by NSF Grants CCR-99-72568 and ITR CCR-00-81964. Work by Micha Sharir was also supported by NSF Grants CCR-97-32101 and CCR-00-98246. by a grant from the Israeli Academy of Sciences for a Center of Excellence in Geometric Computing at Tel Aviv University, and by the Hermann Minkowski MINERVA Center for Geometry at Tel Aviv University. Part of the work by Boris Aronov on the paper was done when he visited Tel Aviv University in May 2000. Department of Computer and Information Science, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY 11201-3840, USA; aronov@poly.edu. School of Computer Science, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel; and Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA; michas@tau.ac.il.

not at all if k > d. It is not dicult to see that the worst-case complexity of the cells can always be achieved by hyperplanes in general position. Let P be a set of m points, not lying on any (d) hyperplane. Denote by Kk (P, H) the number of k-faces bounding the cells of A(H) that contain points of P . We will mainly be concerned with the case k = d/2, because, as follows from the Dehn-Sommerville relations (see, e.g., ), the total number of faces, of all dimensions, of a cell (which is a simple d-polytope) is at most proportional to the number of its d/2-faces, with (d) the constants of proportionality depending only on d. We denote by Kk (m, n) the maximum of (d) Kk (P, H) over all sets P, H as above. Before continuing, we give a brief overview of our proof. It uses the remove-and-reinsert method that was introduced and applied, about a decade ago, to a variety of problems involving the complexity of various substructures in arrangements; see, e.g., [46, 11]. Namely, we analyze what would happen if one hyperplane h was removed and reinserted into the arrangement. We (d) consider each face counted in Kk (P, H {h}), and ask what becomes of it as h is reinserted: It (d) could survive as a single face that is counted in Kk (P, H), it could be split by h into two such faces, or it could disappear altogether from our count, if h separates it from any cell containing points of P . Note that in this manner we do not count features lying on h itself. Averaging this increment in our count over all choices of the hyperplane h being removed and reinserted yields a recurrence (d) (d) (d) on Kk (P, H), which relates Kk (m, n) to quantities of the form Kk (m , n 1) involving n 1 hyperplanes. In this note we modify this standard analysis technique in the following manner: Instead of treating this process as yielding a relation between the desired quantities for n and n 1 hyperplanes, we instead unwind the recurrence, all the way to a small number of hyperplanes. Viewed dierently, we analyze what happens when we remove (and reinsert) essentially all hyperplanes in (d) all possible sequences, and express Kk (P, H) as an average over all such insertion orders. Since this analysis amortizes over the entire length of the insertion sequence, and averages over all such sequences, worst-case local eects are averaged out, and we are thus able to obtain (slightly) stronger bounds. The proof is somewhat long since the base case (d = 4) and the general cases of odd and even dimensions have to be treated separately. (d) We now present the technical details of the proof, which derives a recurrence for Kk (m, n). Pick h H, remove it and add it back. Consider the k-faces that are not contained in h and bound cells of the arrangement that contain points of P . Their number can increase when h is added to A(H {h}) only when h splits a cell c containing points of P into two subcells, each containing points of P . In this case, the local increase in the number of k-faces under consideration is equal to the number of (k 1)-faces of the (d 1)-face c h of A(H). Denote by H/h the set {h h | h H {h}} of (d 2)-hyperplanes within h. Then the total increase in the number of k-faces under consideration that is caused by the reinsertion of h is equal to the number of (k 1)-faces in the splitting cells of the (d 1)-dimensional arrangement A(H/h) within h. If the number of cell splittings caused by the reinsertion of h is mh , then the number of k-faces counted (d) (d) (d1) in Kk (P, H) and not contained in h is at most Kk (Ph , H {h}) + Kk1 (mh , n 1), where Ph is a subset of P obtained by deleting mh points, one from each cell of A(H {h}) resulting from merging two cells of A(H) when h is removed. Repeating this analysis for all h H, and summing

hH (d)

Kk (Ph , H

(d)

## {h}) + Kk1 (mh , n 1) ,

(d1)

(1)

where the factor n d + k comes from the observation that a k-face appears in the count for every h H, except for the d k hyperplanes containing it. The case d = 4. We start with the base case d = 4 and k = 2. The equation (1) becomes
(4)

(n 2)K2 (P, H)
hH

K2 (Ph , H

(4)

{h}) + K1 (mh , n 1) .

(3)

(2)

It is known  that (m2/3 n) for m n3/2 , (3) K1 (m, n) = (n2 ) for n m n3/2 , and (mn) for m n. K (m, n) K2 (P, H) (4) , and F2 (m, n) := 2 , n(n 1) n(n 1) 1 {h}) + O n K1 (mh , n 1) . n2
(3) (4) (4)

(3)

## Divide (2) by n(n 1)(n 2), and put F2 (P, H) := to obtain

(4) F2 (P, H) (4)

1 n

(4) F2 (Ph , H hH

(4)

hH

We now unwind the recurrence in (4) all the way down to n0 = m1/4 remaining hyperplanes. We obtain a recurrence tree T . The j-th level of T is the collection of all nodes whose corresponding substructure involves j hyperplanes of H; thus the root of T is at level n (it represents the whole set H) and the leaves are at level n0 . Let be a path in T , let vj () denote the node of at level j, and let hj () denote the hyperplane removed and reinserted at vj (), for j = n, n 1, . . . , n0 + 1; in other words, hj () is the hyperplane that represents the edge of between parent node vj () and child node vj1 (). It is easily veried that the unwound recurrence can be rewritten as
(4) F2 (P, H)

n0 ! n!

(4) F2 (P , H )

+O
j=n0 +1

K1 (mj (), j 1) j2

(3)

(5)

where ranges over all paths in T , and where (i) mj () is the number of points removed from the current subset of P when hj () is removed from the subset of H associated with vj (), (ii) P denotes the set of points remaining in P after all these removals, (iii) m () denotes the size of P , and (iv) H denotes the subset of the n0 hyperplanes of H that were not removed along (4) . We have m () + n 0 +1 mj () = m. In other words, F2 (P, H) is the average, over all j=n paths of T , of the path-dependent expression in the brackets in (5). Denote this expression by (4) (3) E() := F2 (P , H ) + O( n 0 +1 Ej ()), where Ej () := K1 (mj (), j 1)/j 2 . j=n

(4) (4)

## K2 (m, m1/4 ) m =O m1/4 (m1/4 1) m1/2

(4)

= O(m1/2 ),

where we have used the fact that an arrangement of m1/4 hyperplanes has fewer than m cells and their total complexity is O(m). Partition the nodes of into three subsets: J1 = {j | mj () > (j 1)3/2 }, J2 = {j | j 1 < mj () (j 1)3/2 }, and J3 = {j | mj () j 1}. Using (3) and Hlders inequality, we obtain o Ej () = O
jJ1 jJ1

mj ()2/3 j
2/3

=O
jJ1

mj ()
j>n0

1 j3

1/3

=O Next we have Ej () = O
jJ3 jJ3

m2/3 n0
2/3

= O(m1/2 ).

mj () j

=O
jJ3 jm1/2

mj () + j

jJ3 j>m1/2

mj () . j

In the rst sum, we use the fact that mj () < j to conclude that the sum is O(m1/2 ). As for the second sum, we have mj () 1 < 1/2 j m mj ()
jJ3 j>m1/2

jJ3 j>m1/2

1 m = m1/2 . m1/2

Finally, we have Ej () = O
jJ2 jJ2

1 =O
jJ2 jm1/2

1+
jJ2 j>m1/2

1 .

The rst subsum is at most m1/2 , while the second is at most m 1 = 1/2 = m1/2 . m 1/2
mj m

To summarize, we have shown that E() = O(m1/2 ) for each path in T . Since F2 (P, H) is the average of these expressions, we conclude that F2 (m, n) =
(4) (4) |P |=m, |H|=n

(4)

max

F2 (P, H) = O(m1/2 ),

(4)

and hence K2 (m, n) = O(m1/2 n2 ). This establishes the base case d = 4, since the Dehn(4) (4) Sommerville relations imply that Kk (m, n) = O(K2 (m, n)), for k = 0, 1, 3, as already mentioned. 4

The case of odd d. Next assume that d > 4 is odd, say d = 2q + 1. In this case, we focus on k = d/2 = q + 1 and (1) becomes (n q)Kq+1
(2q+1)

(P, H)
hH

Kq+1

(2q+1)

(Ph , H

(6)

## By the induction hypothesis, we have

(2q) Kq (m, n) = O(m1/2 nq log(q2)/2 n).

We substitute this bound in (6), divide (6) by n(n 1) (n q), and put
(2q+1) Fq+1 (P, H)

:=

Kq+1

(2q+1)

(P, H)

n(n 1) (n q + 1)

and

## (2q+1) Fq+1 (m, n)

:=

Kq+1

(2q+1)

(m, n)

n(n 1) (n q + 1)

to obtain Fq+1
(2q+1)

(P, H)

1 n

Fq+1
hH

(2q+1)

(Ph , H

{h}) + O

1 n

mh log(q2)/2 n .
hH

1/2

(7)

We now unwind the recurrence in (7) until only one hyperplane remains. We obtain a recurrence tree T , and continue to use the same notations as in the case d = 4. It is easily veried that the unwound recurrence can be rewritten as Fq+1
(2q+1)

(P, H)

1 n!

## O(mj ()1/2 log(q2)/2 j) ,

j=1 (2q+1)

(8)

where ranges over all paths in T . In other words, as above, Fq+1 (P, H) is the average, over all paths of T , of the path-dependent expression in the brackets in (8). By the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, we have
n n 1/2

mj ()1/2
j=1 j=1

mj ()

Hence Fq+1

(2q+1)

(2q+1)

## (m, n) = O(m1/2 nq+1/2 log(q2)/2 n),

which is the asserted bound for d = 2q + 1. The case of even d. Finally consider the case where d is even, say d = 2q > 4. Here we take k = d/2 = q. In this case, (1) becomes
(2q) (n q)Kq (P, H) hH (2q) Kq (Ph , H

{h}) + Kq1

(2q1)

(mh , n 1) .

(9)

(2q1)

## (m, n) = O(m1/2 nq1/2 log(q3)/2 n). 5

We substitute this bound in (9), divide (9) by n(n 1) (n q), and put
(2q) Fq (P, H)

Kq (P, H) := , n(n 1) (n q + 1)

(2q)

and

(2q) Fq (m, n)

Kq (m, n) := , n(n 1) (n q + 1)

(2q)

to obtain
(2q) Fq (P, H) =

1 n

(2q) Fq (Ph , H hH

{h}) + O

1 n

hH

mh log(q3)/2 n . n1/2

1/2

(10)

Once again unwind the recurrence in (10) until only one hyperplane remains. We obtain a recurrence tree T , and express the result as
(2q) Fq (P, H)

1 n!

O
j=1

## mj ()1/2 log(q3)/2 j j 1/2

(2q)

(11)

where ranges over all paths in T . In other words, as above, Fq (P, H) is the average, over all paths of T , of the path-dependent expression in the brackets in (11). By the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, we have
n j=1 (2q)

mj ()1/2 j 1/2

1/2

n j=1

mj ()
j=1

1 j

1/2

## = O(m1/2 log1/2 n).

(12)

Hence Fq (m, n) = O(m1/2 log(q2)/2 n), and thus Kq the asserted bound for d = 2q. This completes the proof of the theorem.

(2q)

## (m, n) = O(m1/2 nq log(q2)/2 n), which is

Remarks: (1) The harmonic series that appears in (12) is the only source of the polylogarithmic factors in our bounds. A major open problem is thus to obtain a better upper bound for the left-hand side of (12). (2) In four dimensions our bound is O(m1/2 n2 ). We do not know whether this bound is tight for the whole range of m. It is clearly tight for m = (1) and for m = (n4 ). It is also tight for m = (n2 ). This has been noted in [4, Theorem 3.3(b)]. For the sake of completeness, here is a sketch of the construction. Take two orthogonal 2-planes , in 4-space. Construct in an arbitrary arrangement of n/2 lines in general position, and construct in an arrangement of n/2 lines that has a cell c so that all lines appear on its boundary. Now extend each of these n lines to a hyperplane in 4-space by taking its Cartesian product with the complementary 2-plane. The cells under consideration in the resulting 4-dimensional arrangement are the Cartesian products of each cell of the arrangement in with c. We obtain a collection of m = (n2 ) cells whose overall complexity is (n2 n) = (n3 ) = (m1/2 n2 ). (3) The method of proof employed above can also be used to derive the known (and tight!) bound (d) of O(m2/3 nd/3 + nd1 ), d 4, on Kd1 (m, n), from the corresponding bound in three dimensions. We omit the details.

## Sum of Squares of Cell Complexities

We next apply Theorem 1.1 to obtain a simple proof of the following result, originally established in . Theorem 2.1. The sum of squares of the cell complexities in an arrangement of n hyperplanes in d dimensions, for d 4, is O(nd logd/21 n). Proof. Let H be a set of n hyperplanes in d-space, and let |C| denote the combinatorial complexity of a cell C in A(H). We wish to bound the quantity (H) = C |C|2 , where the sum ranges over all cells C of A(H). Let Ck denote the subset of cells whose complexity is exactly k, for any k = O(nd/2 ). Let Ck denote the subset of cells whose complexity is at least k, and let mk denote the cardinality of Ck . Apply the bound of Theorem 1.1 to Ck , to obtain kmk = O(mk nd/2 log(d/22)/2 n), which implies that mk = O We thus have (H) =
k 1/2

nd logd/22 n k2

k2 |Ck | =
k

k(nd/2 ) k d/22

## kmk ) n = O(nd logd/21 n),

= O(nd ) + O as asserted.

Remarks: (1) Lemma 3.4 of  provides an alternative derivation of this bound from the many-cell bound of Theorem 1.1. (2) This proof shows that for any < 2 we have |C| = O(nd logd/22 n).
C

In other words, the sum for < 2 yields a slightly smaller bound than the one given in Theorem 2.1 (for = 2), and, for the cases d = 4 and d = 5, settles in the armative a conjecture in .

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