LSMAT Least Squares Medial Axis Transform

Daniel Rebain, Baptiste Angles, Julien Valentin, Nicholas Vining, Jiju Peethambaran, Shahram Izadi, Andrea Tagliasacchi

Computer Graphics Forum, 2019

The medial axis transform has applications in numerous fields including visualization, computer graphics, and computer vision. Unfortunately, traditional medial axis transformations are usually brittle in the presence of outliers, perturbations and/or noise along the boundary of objects. To overcome this limitation, we introduce a new formulation of the medial axis transform which is naturally robust in the presence of these artefacts. Unlike previous work which has approached the medial axis from a computational geometry angle, we consider it from a numerical optimization perspective. In this work, we follow the definition of the medial axis transform as ‘the set of maximally inscribed spheres’. We show how this definition can be formulated as a least squares relaxation where the transform is obtained by minimizing a continuous optimization problem. The proposed approach is inherently parallelizable by performing independent optimization of each sphere using Gauss–Newton, and its least‐squares form allows it to be significantly more robust compared to traditional computational geometry approaches. Extensive experiments on 2D and 3D objects demonstrate that our method provides superior results to the state of the art on both synthetic and real‐data.