Characterizing Generic Global Rigidity

Steven J. Gortler, Alexander D. Healy, Dylan P. Thurston
Arxiv ID: 0710.0926Last updated: 10/13/2021
A d-dimensional framework is a graph and a map from its vertices to E^d. Such a framework is globally rigid if it is the only framework in E^d with the same graph and edge lengths, up to rigid motions. For which underlying graphs is a generic framework globally rigid? We answer this question by proving a conjecture by Connelly, that his sufficient condition is also necessary: a generic framework is globally rigid if and only if it has a stress matrix with kernel of dimension d+1, the minimum possible. An alternate version of the condition comes from considering the geometry of the length-squared mapping l: the graph is generically locally rigid iff the rank of l is maximal, and it is generically globally rigid iff the rank of the Gauss map on the image of l is maximal. We also show that this condition is efficiently checkable with a randomized algorithm, and prove that if a graph is not generically globally rigid then it is flexible one dimension higher.

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