Section: Scientific Foundations
Topological and Geometric Inference
Due to the fast evolution of data acquisition devices and computational power, scientists in many areas are demanding efficient algorithmic tools for analyzing, manipulating and visualizing more and more complex shapes or complex systems from approximating data. Many of the existing algorithmic solutions which come with little theoretical guarantee provide unsatisfactory and/or unpredictable results. Since these algorithms take as input discrete geometric data, it is mandatory to develop concepts that are rich enough to robustly and correctly approximate continuous shapes and their geometric properties by discrete models. Ensuring the correctness of geometric estimations and approximations on discrete data is a sensitive problem in many applications  .
Data sets being often represented as point sets in high dimensional spaces, there is a considerable interest in analyzing and processing data in such spaces. Although these point sets usually live in high dimensional spaces, one often expects them to be located around unknown, possibly non linear, low dimensional shapes. These shapes are usually assumed to be smooth submanifolds or more generally compact subsets of the ambient space. It is then desirable to infer topological (dimension, Betti numbers,...) and geometric characteristics (singularities, volume, curvature,...) of these shapes from the data. The hope is that this information will help to better understand the underlying complex systems from which the data are generated. In spite of recent promising results, many problems still remain open and to be addressed, need a tight collaboration between mathematicians and computer scientists. In this context our goal is to contribute to the development of new mathematically well founded and algorithmically efficient geometric tools for data analysis and processing of complex geometric objects. Our main targeted areas of application include machine learning, data mining, statistical analysis, and sensor networks.