Overall Objectives
Research Program
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Section: Research Program

Mesh Generation and Geometry Processing

Meshes are becoming commonplace in a number of applications ranging from engineering to multimedia through biomedecine and geology. For rendering, the quality of a mesh refers to its approximation properties. For numerical simulation, a mesh is not only required to faithfully approximate the domain of simulation, but also to satisfy size as well as shape constraints. The elaboration of algorithms for automatic mesh generation is a notoriously difficult task as it involves numerous geometric components: Complex data structures and algorithms, surface approximation, robustness as well as scalability issues. The recent trend to reconstruct domain boundaries from measurements adds even further hurdles. Armed with our experience on triangulations and algorithms, and with components from the cgal library, we aim at devising robust algorithms for 2D, surface, 3D mesh generation as well as anisotropic meshes. Our research in mesh generation primarily focuses on the generation of simplicial meshes, i.e. triangular and tetrahedral meshes. We investigate both greedy approaches based upon Delaunay refinement and filtering, and variational approaches based upon energy functionals and associated minimizers.

The search for new methods and tools to process digital geometry is motivated by the fact that previous attempts to adapt common signal processing methods have led to limited success: Shapes are not just another signal but a new challenge to face due to distinctive properties of complex shapes such as topology, metric, lack of global parameterization, non-uniform sampling and irregular discretization. Our research in geometry processing ranges from surface reconstruction to surface remeshing through curvature estimation, principal component analysis, surface approximationand surface mesh parameterization. Another focus is on the robustness of the algorithms to defect-laden data. This focus stems from the fact that acquired geometric data obtained through measurements or designs are rarely usable directly by downstream applications. This generates bottlenecks, i.e., parts of the processing pipeline which are too labor-intensive or too brittle for practitioners. Beyond reliability and theoretical foundations, our goal is to design methods which are also robust to raw, unprocessed inputs.