How to complete a doubling metric

Anupam Gupta, Kunal Talwar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In recent years, considerable advances have been made in the study of properties of metric spaces in terms of their doubling dimension. This line of research has not only enhanced our understanding of finite metrics, but has also resulted in many algorithmic applications. However, we still do not understand the interaction between various graph-theoretic (topological) properties of graphs, and the doubling (geometric) properties of the shortest-path metrics induced by them. For instance, the following natural question suggests itself: given a finite doubling metric (V,d), is there always an unweighted graph (V′,E′) with V ⊆ V′ such that the shortest path metric d′ on V is still doubling, and which agrees with d on V . This is often useful, given that unweighted graphs are often easier to reason about. A first hurdle to answering this question is that subdividing edges can increase the doubling dimension unboundedly, and it is not difficult to show that the answer to the above question is negative. However, surprisingly, allowing a distortion between d and d′ enables us bypass this impossibility: we show that for any metric space (V,d), there is an unweighted graph (V′,E′) with shortest-path metric such that for all x,y ∈ V, the distances , and the doubling dimension for d′ is not much more than that of d, where this change depends only on and not on the size of the graph. We show a similar result when both (V,d) and (V′,E′) are restricted to be trees: this gives a simple proof that doubling trees embed into constant dimensional Euclidean space with constant distortion. We also show that our results are tight in terms of the tradeoff between distortion and dimension blowup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLATIN 2008
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical Informatics - 8th Latin American Symposium, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)3540787720, 9783540787723
StatePublished - 2008
Event8th Latin American Theoretical INformatics Symposium, LATIN 2008 - Buzios, Brazil
Duration: Apr 7 2008Apr 11 2008

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4957 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference8th Latin American Theoretical INformatics Symposium, LATIN 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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