shortest vector between two line segments

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Tyler
Tyler on 13 Mar 2014
Edited: Roger Stafford on 13 Mar 2014
Hi, im looking to find the shortest vector between two line segments.
The purpose is that i generate two line segments in space, and then i want to move one toward the other in the shortest distance possible. I have seen some existing matlab codes that provide the shortest distance between line segments - but in this case i need direction as well.
any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Roger Stafford
Roger Stafford on 13 Mar 2014
Edited: Roger Stafford on 13 Mar 2014
When you say "the shortest vector between two line segments", do you mean that the ends of a connecting vector must lie within the bounds of each of the respective line segments, or can it end on linear extensions of each line segment? I ask this because finding the former takes more processing than the latter, there being a comparatively simple formula for the shortest vector between two infinitely long straight lines.

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Answers (1)

John D'Errico
John D'Errico on 13 Mar 2014
Any code that can find the shortest distance between the segments must also implicitly know the points of interest on each segment. Subtracting those two points gives the vector you need.

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