Discrete Line Fields on Surfaces

02/18/2020 ∙ by Tiago Novello, et al. ∙ 0

Vector fields and line fields, their counterparts without orientations on tangent lines, are familiar objects in the theory of dynamical systems. Among the techniques used in their study, the Morse–Smale decomposition of a (generic) field plays a fundamental role, relating the geometric structure of phase space to a combinatorial object consisting of critical points and separatrices. Such concepts led Forman to a satisfactory theory of discrete vector fields, in close analogy to the continuous case. In this paper, we introduce discrete line fields. Again, our definition is rich enough to provide the counterparts of the basic results in the theory of continuous line fields: a Euler-Poincaré formula, a Morse–Smale decomposition and a topologically consistent cancellation of critical elements, which allows for topological simplification of the original discrete line field.

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