Approximations of Shape Metrics and Application to Shape Warping and Empirical Shape Statistics

  • Guillaume Charpiat
  • Olivier Faugeras
  • Renaud Keriven
  • Pierre Maurel
Part of the Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology book series (MSSET)


This chapter proposes a framework for dealing with two problems related to the analysis of shapes: the definition of the relevant set of shapes and that of defining a metric on it. Following a recent research monograph by Delfour and Zolésio [8], we consider the characteristic functions of the subsets of ℝ2 and their distance functions. The L 2 norm of the difference of characteristic functions and the L∞ and the W 1,2 norms of the difference of distance functions define interesting topologies, in particular that induced by the well-known Hausdorff distance. Because of practical considerations arising from the fact that we deal with image shapes defined on finite grids of pixels, we restrict our attention to subsets of ℝ2 of positive reach in the sense of Federer [12], with smooth boundaries of bounded curvature. For this particular set of shapes we show that the three previous topologies are equivalent. The next problem we consider is that of warping a shape onto another by infinitesimal gradient descent, minimizing the corresponding distance. Because the distance function involves an inf, it is not differentiable with respect to the shape. We propose a family of smooth approximations of the distance function which are continuous with respect to the Hausdorff topology, and hence with respect to the other two topologies. We compute the corresponding Gâteaux derivatives. They define deformation flows that can be used to warp a shape onto another by solving an initial value problem. We show several examples of this warping and prove properties of our approximations that relate to the existence of local minima. We then use this tool to produce computational de.nitions of the empirical mean and covariance of a set of shape examples. They yield an analog of the notion of principal modes of variation. We illustrate them on a variety of examples.

Key words

Shape metrics characteristic functions distance functions deformation flows lower semi continuous envelope shape warping empirical mean shape empirical covariance operator principal modes of variation 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillaume Charpiat
    • 1
  • Olivier Faugeras
    • 2
  • Renaud Keriven
    • 3
  • Pierre Maurel
    • 1
  1. 1.Odyssée LaboratoryENSParisFrance
  2. 2.Odyssée LaboratoryINRIA Sophia AntipolisSophia-Antipolis CedexFrance
  3. 3.Odyssée LaboratoryENPCMarne la ValléeFrance

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