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Currents and Finite Elements as Tools for Shape Space

Journal article
Authors J. Benn
S. Marsland
R. I. McLachlan
Klas Modin
O. Verdier
Published in Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision
Volume 61
Issue 8
Pages 1197-1220
ISSN 0924-9907
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Mathematical Sciences
Pages 1197-1220
Language en
Keywords Currents, Finite elements, Shape space, Image analysis, metrics, Computer Science, Mathematics
Subject categories Computer and Information Science, Mathematics


The nonlinear spaces of shapes (unparameterized immersed curves or submanifolds) are of interest for many applications in image analysis, such as the identification of shapes that are similar modulo the action of some group. In this paper, we study a general representation of shapes as currents, which are based on linear spaces and are suitable for numerical discretization, being robust to noise. We develop the theory of currents for shape spaces by considering both the analytic and numerical aspects of the problem. In particular, we study the analytical properties of the current map and the norm that it induces on shapes. We determine the conditions under which the current determines the shape. We then provide a finite element-based discretization of the currents that is a practical computational tool for shapes. Finally, we demonstrate this approach on a variety of examples.

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