Approximating Loops in a Shortest Homology Basis from Point Data

Research paper by Tamal K. Dey, Jian Sun, Yusu Wang

Indexed on: 02 Dec '09Published on: 02 Dec '09Published in: Computer Science - Computational Geometry


Inference of topological and geometric attributes of a hidden manifold from its point data is a fundamental problem arising in many scientific studies and engineering applications. In this paper we present an algorithm to compute a set of loops from a point data that presumably sample a smooth manifold $M\subset \mathbb{R}^d$. These loops approximate a {\em shortest} basis of the one dimensional homology group $H_1(M)$ over coefficients in finite field $\mathbb{Z}_2$. Previous results addressed the issue of computing the rank of the homology groups from point data, but there is no result on approximating the shortest basis of a manifold from its point sample. In arriving our result, we also present a polynomial time algorithm for computing a shortest basis of $H_1(K)$ for any finite {\em simplicial complex} $K$ whose edges have non-negative weights.