Let S subset of R-2 be a set of n sites, where each s is an element of S has an associated radius r(s) > 0. The disk graph D(S) is the undirected graph with vertex set S and an undirected edge between two sites s, t is an element of S if and only if vertical bar st vertical bar <= r(s) + r(t), i.e., if the disks with centers s and t and respective radii r(s) and r(t) intersect. Disk graphs are used to model sensor networks. Similarly, the transmission graph T(S) is the directed graph with vertex set S and a directed edge from a site s to a site t if and only if vertical bar st vertical bar <= r(s), i.e., if t lies in the disk with center s and radius r(s).
We provide algorithms for detecting (directed) triangles and, more generally, computing the length of a shortest cycle (the girth) in D(S) and in T(S). These problems are notoriously hard in general, but better solutions exist for special graph classes such as planar graphs. We obtain similarly efficient results for disk graphs and for transmission graphs. More precisely, we show that a shortest (Euclidean) triangle in D(S) and in T(S) can be found in O(n log n) expected time, and that the (weighted) girth of D(S) can be found in O(n log n) expected time. For this, we develop new tools for batched range searching that may be of independent interest.