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Section: New Results

On the maximal number of real embeddings of minimally rigid graphs in 2, 3 and S2

Rigidity theory studies the properties of graphs that can have rigid embeddings in a euclidean space d or on a sphere and other manifolds which in addition satisfy certain edge length constraints. One of the major open problems in this field is to determine lower and upper bounds on the number of realizations with respect to a given number of vertices. This problem is closely related to the classification of rigid graphs according to their maximal number of real embeddings. In [17], we are interested in finding edge lengths that can maximize the number of real embeddings of minimally rigid graphs in the plane, space, and on the sphere. We use algebraic formulations to provide upper bounds. To find values of the parameters that lead to graphs with a large number of real realizations, possibly attaining the (algebraic) upper bounds, we use some standard heuristics and we also develop a new method inspired by coupler curves. We apply this new method to obtain embeddings in 3. One of its main novelties is that it allows us to sample efficiently from a larger number of parameters by selecting only a subset of them at each iteration. Our results include a full classification of the 7-vertex graphs according to their maximal numbers of real embeddings in the cases of the embeddings in 2 and 3, while in the case of S2 we achieve this classification for all 6-vertex graphs. Additionally, by increasing the number of embeddings of selected graphs, we improve the previously known asymptotic lower bound on the maximum number of realizations.