Asymptotic Improvements on the Exact Matching Distance for 2-parameter Persistence

Michael Kerber, Havard Bakke Bjerkevik

Research output: Working paperPreprint


In the field of topological data analysis, persistence modules are used to express geometrical features of data sets. The matching distance $d_\mathcal{M}$ measures the difference between $2$-parameter persistence modules by taking the maximum bottleneck distance between $1$-parameter slices of the modules. The previous fastest algorithm to compute $d_\mathcal{M}$ exactly runs in $O(n^{8+\omega})$, where $\omega$ is the matrix multiplication constant. We improve significantly on this by describing an algorithm with expected running time $O(n^5 \log^3 n)$. We first solve the decision problem $d_\mathcal{M}\leq \lambda$ for a constant $\lambda$ in $O(n^5\log n)$ by traversing a line arrangement in the dual plane, where each point represents a slice. Then we lift the line arrangement to a plane arrangement in $\mathbb{R}^3$ whose vertices represent possible values for $d_\mathcal{M}$, and use a randomized incremental method to search through the vertices and find $d_\mathcal{M}$. The expected running time of this algorithm is $O((n^4+T(n))\log^2 n)$, where $T(n)$ is an upper bound for the complexity of deciding if $d_\mathcal{M}\leq \lambda$.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2021


  • math.AT
  • cs.CG

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