I’m working on a project that involves a robot and a very large number of reference points. The robot moves around, while the reference points are fixed in space. I would like the robot to be able to tell which reference points are within a fixed distance of it at any point in time. This must be done in an online fashion. There are a very large number of reference points, so iterating through the list is impractical.
This is in many ways similar to a priority queue, but I don’t see any way to adopt that data structure to this context. Every move would require recalculating the distances which appears to require iterating over the entire list of reference points after every move.
Is there a data structure that works for this context? I can allow for a large amount of precomputation if necessary, though the robot’s path isn’t known in advance so I can’t precompute all the relevant distances or something like that. Iterating over the list of reference points can be done during precomputation, just not online because [number of points] * [number of moves] is too large. A solution that is linear in points and sublinear in moves may be feasible, but I would be highly surprised to learn it exists.
I would also be interested in a data structure that tracks the closest waypoint, if that is feasible but the general question is not.