Given any set of points $S$ in the unit square that contains the origin, does a set of axis aligned rectangles, one for each point in $S$, exist, such that each of them has a point in $S$ as its lower-left corner, they are pairwise interior disjoint, and the total area that they cover is at least 1/2? This question is also known as Freedman's conjecture (conjecturing that such a set of rectangles does exist) and has been open since Allen Freedman posed it in 1969. In this paper, we improve the best known lower bound on the total area that can be covered from 0.09121 to 0.1039. Although this step is small, we introduce new insights that push the limits of this analysis. Our lower bound uses a greedy algorithm with a particular order of the points in $S$. Therefore, it also implies that this greedy algorithm achieves an approximation ratio of 0.1039. We complement the result with an upper bound of 3/4 on the approximation ratio for a natural class of greedy algorithms that includes the one that achieves the lower bound.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Feb 2021|