Computations of Delaunay and Higher Order Triangulations, with Applications to Splines Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Liu, Yuanxin
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Computer Science
  • Digital data that consist of discrete points are frequently captured and processed by scientific and engineering applications. Due to the rapid advance of new data gathering technologies, data set sizes are increasing, and the data distributions are becoming more irregular. These trends call for new computational tools that are both efficient enough to handle large data sets and flexible enough to accommodate irregularity. A mathematical foundation that is well-suited for developing such tools is triangulation, which can be defined for discrete point sets with little assumption about their distribution. The potential benefits from using triangulation are not fully exploited. The challenges fundamentally stem from the complexity of the triangulation structure, which generally takes more space to represent than the input points. This complexity makes developing a triangulation program a delicate task, particularly when it is important that the program runs fast and robustly over large data. This thesis addresses these challenges in two parts. The first part concentrates on techniques designed for efficiently and robustly computing Delaunay triangulations of three kinds of practical data: the terrain data from LIDAR sensors commonly found in GIS, the atom coordinate data used for biological applications, and the time varying volume data generated from from scientific simulations. The second part addresses the problem of defining spline spaces over triangulations in two dimensions. It does so by generalizing Delaunay configurations, defined as follows. For a given point set P in two dimensions, a Delaunay configuration is a pair of subsets (T, I) from P, where T, called the boundary set, is a triplet and I, called the interior set, is the set of points that fall in the circumcircle through T. The size of the interior set is the degree of the configuration. As recently discovered by Neamtu (2004), for a chosen point set, the set of all degree k Delaunay configurations can be associated with a set of degree k plus 1 splines that form the basis of a spline space. In particular, for the trivial case of k equals 0, the spline space coincides with the PL interpolation functions over the Delaunay triangulation. Neamtu’s definition of the spline space relies only on a few structural properties of the Delaunay configurations. This raises the question whether there exist other sets of configurations with identical structural properties. If there are, then these sets of configurations—let us call them generalized configurations from hereon—can be substituted for Delaunay configurations in Neamtu’s definition of spline space thereby yielding a family of splines over the same point set.
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  • Snoeyink, Jack
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