Section: Research Program
Assuming a geometric dataset made out of points or slices, the process of shape reconstruction amounts to recovering a surface or a solid that matches these samples. This problem is inherently ill-posed as infinitely-many shapes may fit the data. One must thus regularize the problem and add priors such as simplicity or smoothness of the inferred shape.
The concept of geometric simplicity has led to a number of interpolating techniques commonly based upon the Delaunay triangulation. The concept of smoothness has led to a number of approximating techniques that commonly compute an implicit function such that one of its isosurfaces approximates the inferred surface. Reconstruction algorithms can also use an explicit set of prior shapes for inference by assuming that the observed data can be described by these predefined prior shapes. One key lesson learned in the shape problem is that there is probably not a single solution which can solve all cases, each of them coming with its own distinctive features. In addition, some data sets such as point sets acquired on urban scenes are very domain-specific and require a dedicated line of research.
In recent years the smooth, closed case (i.e., shapes without sharp features nor boundaries) has received considerable attention. However, the state-of-the-art methods have several shortcomings: in addition to being in general not robust to outliers and not sufficiently robust to noise, they often require additional attributes as input, such as lines of sight or oriented normals. We wish to devise shape reconstruction methods which are both geometrically and topologically accurate without requiring additional attributes, while exhibiting resilience to defect-laden inputs. Resilience formally translates into stability with respect to noise and outliers. Correctness of the reconstruction translates into convergence in geometry and (stable parts of) topology of the reconstruction with respect to the inferred shape known through measurements.
Moving from the smooth, closed case to the piecewise smooth case (possibly with boundaries) is considerably harder as the ill-posedness of the problem applies to each sub-feature of the inferred shape. Further, very few approaches tackle the combined issue of robustness (to sampling defects, noise and outliers) and feature reconstruction.