Approximative Terrain Guarding with Given Number of Guards

Branko Kaučič


Guarding a surface is a well known optimization problem of the visibility site analysis and has many applications. The basic problem is searching for the minimum number of guards needed to guard (see) the entire surface. More realistic is the guarding where the number of guards is upward limited and the optimization problem is to search for their locations in order to guard as much surface as possible.

In the paper this problem is treated in detail.  Several known heuristics (greedy add, greedy add with swap and stingy drop) are revised and a new technique called solution improving technique is proposed. The technique improves the results of the known algorithms and is used in indirect solving of the problem. Tests on 44 DEMs from USGS DEM Repository showed that our technique yields comparative results for smaller number of guards and better results for higher number of guards.

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