Fix Python – How can I check if two segments intersect?


Asked By – aneuryzm

How can I check if 2 segments intersect?

I’ve the following data:

Segment1 [ {x1,y1}, {x2,y2} ]
Segment2 [ {x1,y1}, {x2,y2} ] 

I need to write a small algorithm in Python to detect if the 2 lines are intersecting.

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Now we will see solution for issue: How can I check if two segments intersect?


The equation of a line is:

f(x) = A*x + b = y

For a segment, it is exactly the same, except that x is included on an interval I.

If you have two segments, defined as follow:

Segment1 = {(X1, Y1), (X2, Y2)}
Segment2 = {(X3, Y3), (X4, Y4)}

The abcisse Xa of the potential point of intersection (Xa,Ya) must be contained in both interval I1 and I2, defined as follow :

I1 = [min(X1,X2), max(X1,X2)]
I2 = [min(X3,X4), max(X3,X4)]

And we could say that Xa is included into :

Ia = [max( min(X1,X2), min(X3,X4) ),
      min( max(X1,X2), max(X3,X4) )]

Now, we need to check that this interval Ia exists :

if (max(X1,X2) < min(X3,X4)):
    return False  # There is no mutual abcisses

So, we have two line formula, and a mutual interval. Your line formulas are:

f1(x) = A1*x + b1 = y
f2(x) = A2*x + b2 = y

As we got two points by segment, we are able to determine A1, A2, b1 and b2:

A1 = (Y1-Y2)/(X1-X2)  # Pay attention to not dividing by zero
A2 = (Y3-Y4)/(X3-X4)  # Pay attention to not dividing by zero
b1 = Y1-A1*X1 = Y2-A1*X2
b2 = Y3-A2*X3 = Y4-A2*X4

If the segments are parallel, then A1 == A2 :

if (A1 == A2):
    return False  # Parallel segments

A point (Xa,Ya) standing on both line must verify both formulas f1 and f2:

Ya = A1 * Xa + b1
Ya = A2 * Xa + b2
A1 * Xa + b1 = A2 * Xa + b2
Xa = (b2 - b1) / (A1 - A2)   # Once again, pay attention to not dividing by zero

The last thing to do is check that Xa is included into Ia:

if ( (Xa < max( min(X1,X2), min(X3,X4) )) or
     (Xa > min( max(X1,X2), max(X3,X4) )) ):
    return False  # intersection is out of bound
    return True

In addition to this, you may check at startup that two of the four provided points are not equals to avoid all that testing.

This question is answered By – OMG_peanuts

This answer is collected from stackoverflow and reviewed by FixPython community admins, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0