separating points algorithm

Hi,

I'm a belgian student in applied economics: commercial engineer. We have to write a paper including an algorithm for an optimization problem. Part of the exercise is to give and explain examples of software that already does what our algorithm does. Even if it is just a step in the program.

The separating points problem:

Consider a set of points in the plane, each point being determined by an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate. We assume, for reasons of convenience, that no two points have a common x-coordinate or a common y-coordinate. The problem that we face is to draw horizontal and/or vertical lines such that each pair of points is separated by some line. Thus, no cell in the subdivision of the plane induced by the lines, contains more than one point. The challenge is to use as few lines as possible to achieve this requirement.

Does anyone have an idea of which software incorporates this process? Or does anyone know if this can be done with some functions in Matlab, because we are not familiar with it.

Thx