# Optimal Discretization is Fixed-parameter Tractable

Given two disjoint sets W_1 and W_2 of points in the plane, the Optimal Discretization problem asks for the minimum size of a family of horizontal and vertical lines that separate W_1 from W_2, that is, in every region into which the lines partition the plane there are either only points of W_1, or only points of W_2, or the region is empty. Equivalently, Optimal Discretization can be phrased as a task of discretizing continuous variables: we would like to discretize the range of x-coordinates and the range of y-coordinates into as few segments as possible, maintaining that no pair of points from W_1 × W_2 are projected onto the same pair of segments under this discretization. We provide a fixed-parameter algorithm for the problem, parameterized by the number of lines in the solution. Our algorithm works in time 2^O(k^2 log k) n^O(1), where k is the bound on the number of lines to find and n is the number of points in the input. Our result answers in positive a question of Bonnet, Giannopolous, and Lampis [IPEC 2017] and of Froese (PhD thesis, 2018) and is in contrast with the known intractability of two closely related generalizations: the Rectangle Stabbing problem and the generalization in which the selected lines are not required to be axis-parallel.

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