Reach (mathematics)

In mathematics, the reach of a subset of Euclidean space Rn is a real number that roughly describes how curved the boundary of the set is.

Definition

Let X be a subset of Rn. Then reach of X is defined as

${\displaystyle {\text{reach}}(X):=\sup\{r\in \mathbb {R} :\forall x\in \mathbb {R} ^{n}\setminus X{\text{ with }}{\rm {dist}}(x,X)

Examples

Shapes that have reach infinity include

• a single point,
• a straight line,
• a full square, and
• any convex set.

The graph of ƒ(x) = |x| has reach zero.

A circle of radius r has reach r.

References

• Federer, Herbert (1969), Geometric measure theory, Die Grundlehren der mathematischen Wissenschaften, 153, New York: Springer-Verlag New York Inc., pp. xiv+676, ISBN 978-3-540-60656-7, MR 0257325, Zbl 0176.00801