Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name



Computer Science

First Advisor

Jing Hu


Shape analysis is a fundamental research topic in computer graphics and computer vision. To date, more and more 3D data is produced by those advanced acquisition capture devices, e.g., laser scanners, depth cameras, and CT/MRI scanners. The increasing data demands advanced analysis tools including shape matching, retrieval, deformation, etc. Nevertheless, 3D Shapes are represented with Euclidean transformations such as translation, scaling, and rotation and digital mesh representations are irregularly sampled. The shape can also deform non-linearly and the sampling may vary. In order to address these challenging problems, we investigate Laplace-Beltrami shape spectra from the differential geometry perspective, focusing more on the intrinsic properties. In this dissertation, the shapes are represented with 2 manifolds, which are differentiable.

First, we discuss in detail about the salient geometric feature points in the Laplace-Beltrami spectral domain instead of traditional spatial domains. Simultaneously, the local shape descriptor of a feature point is the Laplace-Beltrami spectrum of the spatial region associated to the point, which are stable and distinctive. The salient spectral geometric features are invariant to spatial Euclidean transforms, isometric deformations and mesh triangulations. Both global and partial matching can be achieved with these salient feature points. Next, we introduce a novel method to analyze a set of poses, i.e., near-isometric deformations, of 3D models that are unregistered. Different shapes of poses are transformed from the 3D spatial domain to a geometry spectral one where all near isometric deformations, mesh triangulations and Euclidean transformations are filtered away. Semantic parts of that model are then determined based on the computed geometric properties of all the mapped vertices in the geometry spectral domain while semantic skeleton can be automatically built with joints detected. Finally we prove the shape spectrum is a continuous function to a scale function on the conformal factor of the manifold. The derivatives of the eigenvalues are analytically expressed with those of the scale function. The property applies to both continuous domain and discrete triangle meshes. On the triangle meshes, a spectrum alignment algorithm is developed. Given two closed triangle meshes, the eigenvalues can be aligned from one to the other and the eigenfunction distributions are aligned as well. This extends the shape spectra across non-isometric deformations, supporting a registration-free analysis of general motion data.