In this paper we address the problem of representing the structure of the topology of a d-dimensional scalar field as a basis for constructing a multiresolution representation of the structure of such afield. To this aim, we define a discrete decomposition of a triangulated d-dimensional domain, on whose vertices the values of the field are given. We extend a Smale decomposition, defined by Thom (1949) and Smale (1960) for differentiable functions, to the discrete case, to what we call a Smale-like decomposition. We introduce the notion of discrete gradient vector field, which indicates the growth of the scalar field and matches with our decomposition. We sketch an algorithm for building a Smale-like decomposition and a graph-based representation of this decomposition. We present results for the case of two-dimensional fields.