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Issue No. 03 - March (1972 vol. 21)
ISSN: 0018-9340
pp: 269-281
Charles T. Zahn , Computation Group, Stanford Linear Acceleration Center, Stanford, Calif.
Ralph Z. Roskies , Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
A method for the analysis and synthesis of closed curves in the plane is developed using the Fourier descriptors FD's of Cosgriff [1]. A curve is represented parametrically as a function of arc length by the accumulated change in direction of the curve since the starting point. This function is expanded in a Fourier series and the coefficients are arranged in the amplitude/phase-angle form. It is shown that the amplitudes are pure form invariants as well as are certain simple functions of phase angles. Rotational and axial symmetry are related directly to simple properties of the Fourier descriptors. An analysis of shape similarity or symmetry can be based on these relationships; also closed symmetric curves can be synthesized from almost arbitrary Fourier descriptors. It is established that the Fourier series expansion is optimal and unique with respect to obtaining coefficients insensitive to starting point. Several examples are provided to indicate the usefulness of Fourier descriptors as features for shape discrimination and a number of interesting symmetric curves are generated by computer and plotted out.

R. Z. Roskies and C. T. Zahn, "Fourier Descriptors for Plane Closed Curves," in IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 21, no. , pp. 269-281, 1972.
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