Forest of stars
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A forest of stars is a set of star worlds whose adjacency matrix is a tree. This means that no intersecting star worlds create a cycle, or hole, in the overall space. If an object or space can be represented by a forest of stars, it can be mapped onto a sphere-world by mapping each star world onto the boundary of its parent star world in the adjacency tree. The root of an adjacency tree can be picked arbitrarily.
All star worlds in a forest of stars must have intersections that are also star worlds with respect to their center point.
Forests of stars are used in robot navigation to create navigation functions such as artificial potential functions. A forest of stars is used to represent robots or obstacles that have shapes which can be approximated by the union of separate stars.
Relation to sphere worlds
A sphere world is a space whose boundary is a sphere of the same dimension as the space. A star world is any world whose boundary can be mapped onto the boundary of a sphere world. Since a forest of stars is the union of a number of star worlds, the forest can be recursively mapped onto a single sphere world, and then navigation techniques for sphere worlds can be used.
- E. Rimon, D. Koditschek Exact Robot Navigation Using Artificial Potential Functions IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Vol 8, No 5, Oct 1992
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