On the Distance Between Points in Polygons

  • Harold Ruben
Part of the Lecture Notes in Biomathematics book series (LNBM, volume 23)


The need to evaluate the probability distribution, or at least the first few moments, of the distance between two independent uniform points, each in a planar and bounded polygonal domain, appears to surface periodically in numerous diverse areas of investigation. For some early isolated results, with applications in bombing, particle counting, and forestry sample surveys [or, more generally, problems of topographic variation -- see Matérn (1947) and Ghosh (1949)] etc., refer tb Borel (1925), Ghosh (1943a,b; 1951), Matérn (1947) and Armitage (1949). Evaluation by direct integration, or by some such device as Crofton’s ‘second’ theorem [more precisely, a slight extension of this theorem -- see Kendall and Moran (1963), pp.65-66] is at best intolerably tedious and time-consuming1, and at worst intractable. In this paper, I present a method which should enable future investigators to determine systematically, and with relatively little effort, the probability distribution and moments of the distance, once the coordinates of the vertices of the polygonal domains have been specified.


None None Left Endpoint Space Integral Random Distance Abbreviate Notation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold Ruben
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill UniversityCanada

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