Time-varying Reeb graphs: a topological framework supporting the analysis of continuous time-varying data Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Mascarenhas, Ajith Arthur
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Computer Science
  • I present time-varying Reeb graphs as a topological framework to support the analysis of continuous time-varying data. Such data is captured in many studies, including computational fluid dynamics, oceanography, medical imaging, and climate modeling, by measuring physical processes over time, or by modeling and simulating them on a computer. Analysis tools are applied to these data sets by scientists and engineers who seek to understand the underlying physical processes. A popular tool for analyzing scientific datasets is level sets, which are the points in space with a fixed data value s. Displaying level sets allows the user to study their geometry, their topological features such as connected components, handles, and voids, and to study the evolution of these features for varying s. For static data, the Reeb graph encodes the evolution of topological features and compactly represents topological information of all level sets. The Reeb graph essentially contracts each level set component to a point. It can be computed efficiently, and it has several uses: as a succinct summary of the data, as an interface to select meaningful level sets, as a data structure to accelerate level set extraction, and as a guide to remove noise. I extend these uses of Reeb graphs to time-varying data. I characterize the changes to Reeb graphs over time, and develop an algorithm that can maintain a Reeb graph data structure by tracking these changes over time. I store this sequence of Reeb graphs compactly, and call it a time-varying Reeb graph. I augment the time-varying Reeb graph with information that records the topology of level sets of all level values at all times, that maintains the correspondence of level set components over time, and that accelerates the extraction of level sets for a chosen level value and time. Scientific data sampled in space-time must be extended everywhere in this domain using an interpolant. A poor choice of interpolant can create degeneracies that are difficult to resolve, making construction of time-varying Reeb graphs impractical. I investigate piecewise-linear, piecewise-trilinear, and piecewise-prismatic interpolants, and conclude that piecewise-prismatic is the best choice for computing time-varying Reeb graphs. Large Reeb graphs must be simplified for an effective presentation in a visualization system. I extend an algorithm for simplifying static Reeb graphs to compute simplifications of time-varying Reeb graphs as a first step towards building a visualization system to support the analysis of time-varying data.
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  • Snoeyink, Jack
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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