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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
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  5. Abstract In this paper we apply Conley index theory in a covering space of an invariant set S , possibly not isolated, in order to describe the dynamics in S . More specifically, we consider the action of the covering translation group in order to define a topological separation of S which distinguishes the connections between the Morse sets within a Morse decomposition of S . The theory developed herein generalizes the classical connection matrix theory, since one obtains enriched information on the connection maps for non-isolated invariant sets, as well as for isolated invariant sets. Moreover, in the case of an infinite cyclic covering induced by a circle-valued Morse function, one proves that the Novikov differential of f is a particular case of the p -connection matrix defined herein.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  6. For tabletop object rearrangement problems with overhand grasps, storage space which may be inside or outside the tabletop workspace, or running buffers, can temporarily hold objects which greatly facilitates the resolution of a given rearrangement task. This brings forth the natural question of how many running buffers are required so that certain classes of tabletop rearrangement problems are feasible. In this work, we examine the problem for both the labeled (where each object has a specific goal pose) and the unlabeled (where goal poses of objects are interchangeable) settings. On the structural side, we observe that finding the minimum number of running buffers (MRB) can be carried out on a dependency graph abstracted from a problem instance, and show that computing MRB on dependency graphs is NP-hard. We then prove that under both labeled and unlabeled settings, even for uniform cylindrical objects, the number of required running buffers may grow unbounded as the number of objects to be rearranged increases; we further show that the bound for the unlabeled case is tight. On the algorithmic side, we develop highly effective, exact algorithms for finding MRB for both labeled and unlabeled tabletop rearrangement problems, scalable to over a hundred objects undermore »very high object density. More importantly, our algorithms also compute a sequence witnessing the computed MRB that can be used for solving object rearrangement tasks. Employing these algorithms, empirical evaluations reveal that random labeled and unlabeled instances, which more closely mimics real-world setups, generally have fairly small MRBs.« less