24-2 Nesting boxes

A $d$-dimensional box with dimensions $(x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_d)$ nests within another box with dimensions $(y_1, y_2, \ldots, y_d)$ if there exists a permutation $\pi$ on $\{1, 2, \ldots, d\}$ such that $x_{\pi(1)} < y_1$, $x_{\pi(2)} < y_2$, $\ldots$, $x_{\pi(d)} < y_d$.

a. Argue that the nesting relation is transitive.

b. Describe an efficient method to determine whether or not one $d$-dimensional box nests inside another.

c. Suppose that you are given a set of $n$ $d$-dimensional boxes $\{B_1, B_2, \ldots, B_n\}$. Give an efficient algorithm to find the longest sequence $\langle B_{i_1}, B_{i_2}, \ldots, B_{i_k} \rangle$ of boxes such that $B_{i_j}$ nests within $B_{i_{j + 1}}$ for $j = 1, 2, \ldots, k - 1$. Express the running time of your algorithm in terms of $n$ and $d$.

a. Suppose that box $x = (x_1, \dots, x_d)$ nests with box $y = (y_1, \dots, y_d)$ and box $y$ nests with box $z = (z_1, \dots, z_d)$. Then there exist permutations $\pi$ and $\sigma$ such that $x_{\pi(1)} < y_1, \dots, x_{\pi(d)} < y_d$ and $y_{\sigma(1)} < z_1, \dots, y_{\sigma(d)} < z_d$. This implies $x_{\pi(\sigma(1))} < z_1, \dots, x_{\pi(\sigma(d))} < z_d$, so $x$ nests with $z$ and the nesting relation is transitive.

b. Box $x$ nests inside box $y$ if and only if the increasing sequence of dimensions of $x$ is component-wise strictly less than the increasing sequence of dimensions of $y$. Thus, it will suffice to sort both sequences of dimensions and compare them. Sorting both length $d$ sequences is done in $O(d\lg d)$, and comparing their elements is done in $O(d)$, so the total time is $O(d\lg d)$.

c. We will create a nesting-graph $G$ with vertices $B_1, \dots, B_n$ as follows. For each pair of boxes $B_i$ , $B_j$, we decide if one nests inside the other. If $B_i$ nests in $B_j$, draw an arrow from $B_i$ to $B_j$. If $B_j$ nests in $B_i$, draw an arrow from $B_j$ to $B_i$. If neither nests, draw no arrow. To determine the arrows efficiently, after sorting each list of dimensions in $O(nd\lg d)$ we can sort all boxes' sorted dimensions lexicographically in $O(dn\lg n)$ using radix sort. By transitivity, it will suffice to test adjacent nesting relations. Thus, the total time to build this graph is $O(nd\max\lg d, \lg n)$. Next, we need to find the longest chain in the graph.