The Visual Computer

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 553–568 | Cite as

A fast modal space transform for robust nonrigid shape retrieval

  • Jianbo Ye
  • Yizhou YuEmail author
Original Article


Nonrigid or deformable 3D objects are common in many application domains. Retrieval of such objects in large databases based on shape similarity is still a challenging problem. In this paper, we take advantages of functional operators as characterizations of shape deformation, and further propose a framework to design novel shape signatures for encoding nonrigid geometries. Our approach constructs a context-aware integral kernel operator on a manifold, then applies modal analysis to map this operator into a low-frequency functional representation, called fast functional transform, and finally computes its spectrum as the shape signature. In a nutshell, our method is fast, isometry-invariant, discriminative, smooth and numerically stable with respect to multiple types of perturbations. Experimental results demonstrate that our new shape signature for nonrigid objects can outperform all methods participating in the nonrigid track of the SHREC’11 contest. It is also the second best performing method in the real human model track of SHREC’14.


Content-based object retrieval Shape retrieval Biharmonic distance Functional map  Shape signature 



The authors would like to thank Maks Ovsjanikov and Dirk Smeets for sharing their software implementations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA
  2. 2.College of Computer ScienceZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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