Boundary element methods for shape analysis

PI: Justin Solomon, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, MIT

Computer graphics and vision software relies on algorithms for shape analysis to create links between objects observed using sensing equipment and preprocessed databases of annotated 3D objects. While we typically can only observe the outer surface of an object in front of a camera, in reality that surface bounds a volume whose structure determines the purpose and affordances of the object. This project will develop tools for efficient volume-based shape analysis. To overcome inefficiencies of existing tools, our algorithms will leverage a mathematical technique known as the boundary element method (BEM) to derive conclusions about the volume bounded by a surface without an expensive process of filling it with tetrahedra or other volumetric elements. This project will be carried out by Prof. Justin Solomon with a student and a postdoctoral researcher at MIT as well as with potential collaborators at Skoltech. 

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