Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
XML PDF e-pub
PDF e-Pub

Section: Overall Objectives

Scientific grounds

Mesh generation is a notoriously difficult task. A quick search on the NSF grant web page ( with “mesh generation AND finite element” keywords returns more than 30 currently active grants for a total of $8 million. NASA indicates mesh generation as one of the major challenges for 2030  [36], and estimates that it costs 80% of time and effort in numerical simulation. This is due to the need for constructing supports that match both the geometry and the physics of the system to be modeled. In our team we pay a particular attention to scientific computing, because we believe it has a world changing impact.

It is very unsatisfactory that meshing, i.e. just “preparing the data” for the simulation, eats up the major part of the time and effort. Our goal is to make the situation evolve, by studying the influence of shapes and discretizations, and inventing new algorithms to automatically generate meshes that can be directly used in scientific computing. This goal is a result of our progressive shift from pure graphics (“Geometry and Lighting”) to real world problems (“Shape Fidelity”).

Figure 1. There is a wide range of possibilities to discretize a given domain. (A) Completely unstructured, white noise point sampling; (B) Blue noise point sampling exhibits some structure; (C) tetrahedral mesh; (D) hexahedral mesh.

Meshing is so central in geometric modeling because it provides a way to represent functions on the objects studied (texture coordinates, temperature, pressure, speed, etc.). There are numerous ways to represent functions, but if we suppose that the functions are piecewise smooth, the most versatile way is to discretize the domain of interest. Ways to discretize a domain range from point clouds to hexahedral meshes; let us list a few of them sorted by the amount of structure each representation has to offer (refer to Figure 1).