Configuration spaces of linkages

October 27 to October 31, 2014

at the

American Institute of Mathematics, Palo Alto, California

organized by

Brigitte Servatius and Meera Sitharam

This workshop, sponsored by AIM and the NSF, will be devoted to the study of configuration spaces of linkages consisting of rigid bars connected by revolute joints embedded in an ambient space of fixed dimension.

The main topics of the workshop are:

  • the topology of configuration spaces of linkages beyond polygons (for example, graphs of tree-width 2).
  • the characterization of paths and reachability and algorithms for computing paths and (and various continuous and discrete measures over paths) in the configuration spaces of natural special classes of linkages.
  • properties of real/complex configuration spaces of linkages that can be generically determined by the graph of the linkage and appropriate notion(s) of genericity
  • configuration spaces of geometric constraint systems that include distance inequalities, for example representing "steric or collision constraints" at molecular interfaces.
The last two items can be viewed from a combinatorial and geometric rigidity perspective, but also a distance geometry perspective, using Cayley-Menger semialgebraic sets or as projections and sections of the semidefinite Euclidean Distance Matrix cone.

The workshop will differ from typical conferences in some regards. Participants will be invited to suggest open problems and questions before the workshop begins, and these will be posted on the workshop website. These include specific problems on which there is hope of making some progress during the workshop, as well as more ambitious problems which may influence the future activity of the field. Lectures at the workshop will be focused on familiarizing the participants with the background material leading up to specific problems, and the schedule will include discussion and parallel working sessions.

The deadline to apply for support to participate in this workshop has passed.

For more information email

Plain text announcement or brief announcement.