Steklov Geometry Processing: An Extrinsic Approach to Spectral Shape Analysis

07/21/2017
by   Yu Wang, et al.
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We propose Steklov geometry processing, an extrinsic approach to spectral geometry processing and shape analysis. Intrinsic approaches, usually based on the Laplace-Beltrami operator, cannot capture the spatial embedding of a shape up to rigid motion, while many previous extrinsic methods lack theoretical justification. Instead, we propose a systematic approach by considering the Steklov eigenvalue problem, computing the spectrum of the Dirichlet-to-Neumann operator of a surface bounding a volume. A remarkable property of this operator is that it encodes the volumetric geometry. We use the boundary element method (BEM) to discretize the operator, accelerated by hierarchical numerical schemes and preconditioning; this pipeline allows us to solve eigenvalue and linear problems on large-scale meshes despite the density of the Dirichlet-to-Neumann discretization. We further demonstrate that our operators naturally fit into existing frameworks for geometry processing, making a shift from intrinsic to extrinsic geometry as simple as substituting the Laplace-Beltrami operator with the Dirichlet-to-Neumann operator.

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