Partitioning regular polygons into circular pieces I: Convex partitions.

We explore an instance of the question of partitioning a polygon into pieces, each of which is as “circular” as possible, in the sense of having an aspect ratio close to 1. The aspect ratio of a polygon is the ratio of the diameters of the smallest circumscribing circle to the largest inscribed disk. The problem is rich even for partitioning regular polygons into convex pieces, the focus of this paper. We show that the optimal (most circular) partition for an equilateral triangle has an infinite number of pieces, with the lower bound approachable to any accuracy desired by a particular finite partition. For pentagons and all regular k-gons, k > 5, the unpartitioned polygon is already optimal. The square presents an interesting intermediate case. Here the one-piece partition is not optimal, but nor is the trivial lower bound approachable. We narrow the optimal ratio to an aspect-ratio gap of 0.01082 with several somewhat intricate partitions.

Main Author: Damian, Mirela.
Other Authors: O'Rourke, Joseph.
Language: English
Published: 2008
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