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It has recently been shown that any simple (i.e. nonintersecting) polygonal chain in the plane can be reconfigured to lie on a straight line, and any simple polygon can be reconfigured to be convex. This result cannot be extended to tree linkages: we show that there are trees with two simple configurations that are not connected by a motion that preserves simplicity throughout the motion. Indeed, we prove that an N-link tree can have 2Ω(N) equivalence classes of configurations.


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