Generalized penetration depth computation

Liangjun Zhang, Young J. Kim, Gokul Varadhan, Dinesh Manocha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Penetration depth (PD) is a distance metric that is used to describe the extent of overlap between two intersecting objects. Most of the prior work in PD computation has been restricted to translational PD, which is defined as the minimal translational motion that one of the overlapping objects must undergo in order to make the two objects disjoint. In this paper, we extend the notion of PD to take into account both translational and rotational motion to separate the intersecting objects, namely generalized PD. When an object undergoes rigid transformation, some point on the object traces the longest trajectory. The generalized PD between two overlapping objects is defined as the minimum of the longest trajectories of one object under all possible rigid transformations to separate the overlapping objects. We present three new results to compute generalized PD between polyhedral models. First, we show that for two overlapping convex polytopes, the generalized PD is same as the translational PD. Second, when the complement of one of the objects is convex, we pose the generalized PD computation as a variant of the convex containment problem and compute an upper bound using optimization techniques. Finally, when both the objects are non-convex, we treat them as a combination of the above two cases, and present an algorithm that computes a lower and an upper bound on generalized PD. We highlight the performance of our algorithms on different models that undergo rigid motion in the 6-dimensional configuration space. Moreover, we utilize our algorithm for complete motion planning of polygonal robots undergoing translational and rotational motion in a plane. In particular, we use generalized PD computation for checking path non-existence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings SPM 2006 - ACM Symposium on Solid and Physical Modeling
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)1595933581, 9781595933584
StatePublished - 2006
EventSPM 2006 - ACM Symposium on Solid and Physical Modeling - Wales, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jun 20058 Jun 2005

Publication series

NameProceedings SPM 2006 - ACM Symposium on Solid and Physical Modeling


ConferenceSPM 2006 - ACM Symposium on Solid and Physical Modeling
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Penetration depth


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