Cut Locus and Topology from Point Data

author: Tamal Dey, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Ohio State University
published: July 30, 2009,   recorded: June 2009,   views: 5031


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A cut locus of a point p in a compact Riemannian manifold M is defined as the set of points where minimizing geodesics issued from p stop being minimizing. It is known that a cut locus contains most of the topological information of M. Our goal is to utilize this property of cut loci to decipher the topology of M from a point sample. Recently it has been shown that Rips complexes can be built from a point sample P of M systematically to compute the Betti numbers, the rank of the homology groups of M. Rips complexes can be computed easily and therefore are favored over others such as restricted Delaunay, alpha, Cech, and witness complex. However, the sizes of the Rips complexes tend to be large. Since the dimension of a cut locus is lower than that of the manifold M, a subsample of P approximating the cut locus is usually much smaller in size and hence admits a relatively small Rips complex. In this talk we explore the above approach for point data sampled from surfaces embedded in any high dimensional Euclidean space. We present an algorithm that computes a subsample P' of a sample P of a 2-manifold where P' approximates a cut locus. Empirical results show that the first Betti number of M can be computed from the Rips complexes built on these subsamples. The sizes of these Rips complexes are much smaller than the one built on the original sample of M.

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