Diamond-based models for scientific visualization
De Floriani, Leila
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Hierarchical spatial decompositions are a basic modeling tool in a variety of application domains including scientific visualization, finite element analysis and shape modeling and analysis. A popular class of such approaches is based on the regular simplex bisection operator, which bisects simplices (e.g. line segments, triangles, tetrahedra) along the midpoint of a predetermined edge. Regular simplex bisection produces adaptive simplicial meshes of high geometric quality, while simplifying the extraction of crack-free, or conforming, approximations to the original dataset. Efficient multiresolution representations for such models have been achieved in 2D and 3D by clustering sets of simplices sharing the same bisection edge into structures called diamonds. In this thesis, we introduce several diamond-based approaches for scientific visualization. We first formalize the notion of diamonds in arbitrary dimensions in terms of two related simplicial decompositions of hypercubes. This enables us to enumerate the vertices, simplices, parents and children of a diamond. In particular, we identify the number of simplices involved in conforming updates to be factorial in the dimension and group these into a linear number of subclusters of simplices that are generated simultaneously. The latter form the basis for a compact pointerless representation for conforming meshes generated by regular simplex bisection and for efficiently navigating the topological connectivity of these meshes. Secondly, we introduce the supercube as a high-level primitive on such nested meshes based on the atomic units within the underlying triangulation grid. We propose the use of supercubes to associate information with coherent subsets of the full hierarchy and demonstrate the effectiveness of such a representation for modeling multiresolution terrain and volumetric datasets. Next, we introduce Isodiamond Hierarchies, a general framework for spatial access structures on a hierarchy of diamonds that exploits the implicit hierarchical and geometric relationships of the diamond model. We use an isodiamond hierarchy to encode irregular updates to a multiresolution isosurface or interval volume in terms of regular updates to diamonds. Finally, we consider nested hypercubic meshes, such as quadtrees, octrees and their higher dimensional analogues, through the lens of diamond hierarchies. This allows us to determine the relationships involved in generating balanced hypercubic meshes and to propose a compact pointerless representation of such meshes. We also provide a local diamond-based triangulation algorithm to generate high-quality conforming simplicial meshes.