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Geometric set operations play an integral role in systems for CAD/CAM, for robot planning, and for modeling objects such as underground formations from empirical data. Two major issues in the implementation of geometric set operations are efficiency in the search for geometric intersections and effectiveness in the treatment of singular intersection cases. This article presents an algorithm for geometric set operations on planar polyhedral nonmanifold objects that addresses both these issues. First, an efficient search for geometric intersections is obtained by localizing the search to small regions of object space through a cellular subdivision scheme using the polytree data structure. Second, an effective treatment of singular intersection cases is obtained by mapping each singular intersection occurring in a region into one of a small set of cases.