Approximating center points with iterative radon points

Kenneth L. Clarkson, David Eppstein, Gary L. Miller, Carl Sturtivant, Shang Hua Teng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We give a practical and provably good Monte Carlo algorithm for approximating center points. Let P be a set of n points in Rd. A point c € Rd is a β-center point of P if every closed halfspace containing c contains at least βn points of P. Every point set has a l/(d + l)-center point; our algorithm finds an Ω(1/d2)-center point with high probability. Our algorithm has a small constant factor and is the first approximate center point algorithm whose complexity is subexponential in d. Moreover, it can be optimally parallelized to require O(log2 d log log n) time. Our algorithm has been used in mesh partitioning methods and can be used in the construction of high breakdown estimators for multivariate datasets in statistics. It has the potential to improve results in practice for constructing weak ε. We derive a variant of our algorithm whose time bound is fully polynomial in d and linear in n, and show how to combine our approach with previous techniques to compute high quality center points more quickly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-377
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Computational Geometry and Applications
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Center point
  • Computational geometry
  • Geometric approximation
  • Iterative method
  • Randomized algorithm


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