Discrete Distortion for 3D Data Analysis


We investigate a morphological approach to the analysis and understanding of three-dimensional scalar fields, and we consider applications to 3D medical and molecular images as examples. We consider a discrete model of the scalar field obtained by discretizing its 3D domain into a tetrahedral mesh. In particular, our meshes correspond to approximations at uniform or variable resolution extracted from a multi-resolution model of the 3D scalar field, that we call a hierarchy of diamonds. We analyze the images based on the concept of discrete distortion, that we have introduced in [26], and on segmentations based on Morse theory. Discrete distortion is defined by considering the graph of the discrete 3D field, which is a tetrahedral hypersurface in R4, and measuring the distortion of the transformation which maps the tetrahedral mesh discretizing the scalar field domain into the mesh representing its graph in R4. We describe a segmentation algorithm to produce Morse decompositions of a 3D scalar field which uses a watershed approach and we apply it to 3D images by using as scalar field both intensity and discrete distortion. We present experimental results by considering the influence of resolution on distortion computation. In particular, we show that the salient features of the distortion field appear prominently in lower resolution approximations to the dataset.

Visualization in Medicine and Life Sciences II - Progress and New Challenges.