Geometriae Dedicata

, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 237–261

Affine-Invariant Distances, Envelopes and Symmetry Sets

  • Peter J. Giblin
  • Guillermo Sapiro

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005099011913

Cite this article as:
Giblin, P.J. & Sapiro, G. Geometriae Dedicata (1998) 71: 237. doi:10.1023/A:1005099011913


Affine invariant symmetry sets of planar curves are introduced and studied in this paper. Two different approaches are investigated. The first one is based on affine invariant distances, and defines the symmetry set as the closure of the locus of points on (at least) two affine normals and affine-equidistant from the corresponding points on the curve. The second approach is based on affine bitangent conics. In this case the symmetry set is defined as the closure of the locus of centers of conics with (at least) 3-point contact with the curve at two or more distinct points on the curve. This is equivalent to conic and curve having, at those points, the same affine tangent, or the same Euclidean tangent and curvature. Although the two analogous definitions for the classical Euclidean symmetry set are equivalent, this is not the case for the affine group. We present a number of properties of both affine symmetry sets, showing their similarities with and differences from the Euclidean case. We conclude the paper with a discussion of possible extensions to higher dimensions and other transformation groups, as well as to invariant Voronoi diagrams.

symmetry setaffine invarianceskew symmetrysingularitiesdual mapaffine invariant distanceconics.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Giblin
    • 1
  • Guillermo Sapiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolU.K.; e-mail