Computing a discrete Morse gradient from a watershed decomposition


We consider the problem of segmenting triangle meshes endowed with a discrete scalar function ff based on the critical points of ff. The watershed transform induces a decomposition of the domain of function ff into regions of influence of its minima, called catchment basins. The discrete Morse gradient induced by ff allows recovering not only catchment basins but also a complete topological characterization of the function and of the shape on which it is defined through a Morse decomposition. Unfortunately, discrete Morse theory and related algorithms assume that the input scalar function has no flat areas, whereas such areas are common in real data and are easily handled by watershed algorithms. We propose here a new approach for building a discrete Morse gradient on a triangulated 3D shape endowed by a scalar function starting from the decomposition of the shape induced by the watershed transform. This allows for treating flat areas without adding noise to the data. Experimental results show that our approach has significant advantages over existing ones, which eliminate noise through perturbation: it is faster and always precise in extracting the correct number of critical elements.

Computers & Graphics