2D Alpha Shapes

This chapter presents a framework for alpha shapes. The description is based on
the articles [EM94, Ede92]. Alpha shapes are
the generalization of the convex hull of a point set. Let $$*S* be a finite set of
points in $$* ^{d}*, $$

We distinguish two versions of alpha shapes, one is based on the Delaunay
triangulation and the other on its generalization, the regular triangulation,
replacing the natural distance by the power to weighted points. The metric used
determines an underlying triangulation of the alpha shape and thus, the version
computed.
The *basic alpha shape* (cf. ) is associated with the Delaunay triangulation
(cf. ).
The *weighted alpha shape* (cf. ) is associated with the regular triangulation
(cf. ).

There is a close connection between alpha shapes and the underlying
triangulations. More precisely, the $$-complex of $$*S* is a
subcomplex of this triangulation of $$*S*, containing the $$-exposed
$$*k*-simplices, $$*0 k d*. A simplex is $$-exposed, if there is an
open disk (resp. ball) of radius $$*sqrt()* through the vertices of the
simplex that does not contain any other point of $$*S*, for the metric used in
the computation of the underlying triangulation. The corresponding
$$-shape is defined as the underlying interior space of the
$$-complex.

In general, an $$-complex is a non-connected and non-pure polytope, it
means, that one $$*k*-simplex, $$*0 k d-1* is not necessary adjacent to
a $$*(k+1)*-simplex.

The $$-shapes of $$*S* form a discrete family, even though they
are defined for all real numbers $$ with $$*0 *. Thus, we can represent the entire family of $$-shapes
of $$*S* by the underlying triangulation of $$*S*. In this representation
each $$*k*-simplex of the underlying triangulation is associated with an
interval that specifies for which values of $$ the $$*k*-simplex
belongs to the $$-shape. Relying on this result, the family of
$$-shapes can be computed efficiently and relatively
easily. Furthermore, we can select an appropriate $$-shape from a
finite number of different $$-shapes and corresponding
$$-values.

*AlphaShapeTraits_2*

*AlphaShapeFace_2*

*AlphaShapeVertex_2*

*CGAL::Alpha_shape_2<Dt>*

*CGAL::Weighted_alpha_shape_euclidean_traits_2<K>*

*CGAL::Alpha_shape_vertex_base_2<AlphaShapeTraits_2>*

*CGAL::Alpha_shape_face_base_2<AlphaShapeTraits_2, TriangulationFaceBase_2>*

Next chapter: 3D Alpha Shapes

The CGAL Project .
Tue, December 21, 2004 .