, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 37-70
Date: 28 Apr 2009

Manifold Reconstruction in Arbitrary Dimensions Using Witness Complexes

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It is a well-established fact that the witness complex is closely related to the restricted Delaunay triangulation in low dimensions. Specifically, it has been proved that the witness complex coincides with the restricted Delaunay triangulation on curves, and is still a subset of it on surfaces, under mild sampling conditions. In this paper, we prove that these results do not extend to higher-dimensional manifolds, even under strong sampling conditions such as uniform point density. On the positive side, we show how the sets of witnesses and landmarks can be enriched, so that the nice relations that exist between restricted Delaunay triangulation and witness complex hold on higher-dimensional manifolds as well. We derive from our structural results an algorithm that reconstructs manifolds of any arbitrary dimension or co-dimension at different scales. The algorithm combines a farthest-point refinement scheme with a vertex pumping strategy. It is very simple conceptually, and it does not require the input point sample to be sparse. Its running time is bounded by c(d)n 2, where n is the size of the input point cloud, and c(d) is a constant depending solely (yet exponentially) on the dimension d of the ambient space. Although this running time makes our reconstruction algorithm rather theoretical, recent work has shown that a variant of our approach can be made tractable in arbitrary dimensions, by building upon the results of this paper.

This work was done while S.Y. Oudot was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University. His email there is no longer valid.