Computation of singularities and intersections of offsets of planar curves

Takashi Maekawa, Nicholas M. Patrikalakis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this paper is to compute the singularities of a normal offset of a planar integral polynomial curve and the intersections of two specific normal offsets of two planar integral polynomial curves. Singularities include irregular points (such as isolated points and cusps) and self-intersections. The key element in the above techniques is the computation of all real roots within a finite box of systems of nonlinear equations involving polynomials and square roots of polynomials. The curves that we are investigating are described by polynomial functions, but their offset curve representations involve polynomials and square roots of polynomials. A methodology based on adaptive subdivision techniques to solve the resulting systems of nonlinear equations is investigated. Key components of our methods are the reduction of the problems into solutions of systems of polynomial equations of higher dimensionality through the introduction of auxiliary variables and the use of rounded interval arithmetic in the context of Bernstein subdivision to enhance the robustness of floating point implementation. Examples illustrate our techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-429
Number of pages23
JournalComputer Aided Geometric Design
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1993 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Offset curves
  • cusps
  • nonlinear equations
  • rounded interval arithmetic
  • self-intersections
  • subdivision.
  • trimmed offsets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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