Convex & concave polygons

Convex and concave polygons

In geometry, a polygon can be either convex or concave.

Convex polygons

A convex polygon is a simple polygon whose interior is a convex set. The following properties of a simple polygon are all equivalent to convexity:

  • Every internal angle is less than 180 degrees or equal to 180 degrees.
  • Every line segment between two vertices of the polygon does not go exterior to the polygon (i.e., it remains inside or on the boundary of the polygon).

A simple polygon is strictly convex if every internal angle is strictly less than 180 degrees. Equivalently, a polygon is strictly convex if every line segment between two nonadjacent vertices of the polygon is strictly interior to the polygon except at its endpoints.

Every nondegenerate triangle is strictly convex.

Concave polygons

A polygon that is not convex is called concave. A concave polygon will always have an interior angle with a measure that is strictly greater than 180 degrees.

It is possible to cut a concave polygon into a set of convex polygons.


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