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Issue No. 01 - January (1984 vol. 6)
ISSN: 0162-8828
pp: 27-40
Ian M. Anderson , Department of Mathematics, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322.
James C. Bezdek , Department of Mathematics, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322; Department of Computer Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208.
This paper introduces a new theory for the tangential deflection and curvature of plane discrete curves. Our theory applies to discrete data in either rectangular boundary coordinate or chain coded formats: its rationale is drawn from the statistical and geometric properties associated with the eigenvalue-eigenvector structure of sample covariance matrices. Specifically, we prove that the nonzero entry of the commutator of a piar of scatter matrices constructed from discrete arcs is related to the angle between their eigenspaces. And further, we show that this entry is-in certain limiting cases-also proportional to the analytical curvature of the plane curve from which the discrete data are drawn. These results lend a sound theoretical basis to the notions of discrete curvature and tangential deflection; and moreover, they provide a means for computationally efficient implementation of algorithms which use these ideas in various image processing contexts. As a concrete example, we develop the commutator vertex detection (CVD) algorithm, which identifies the location of vertices in shape data based on excessive cummulative tangential deflection; and we compare its performance to several well established corner detectors that utilize the alternative strategy of finding (approximate) curvature extrema.

I. M. Anderson and J. C. Bezdek, "Curvature and Tangential Deflection of Discrete Arcs: A Theory Based on the Commutator of Scatter Matrix Pairs and Its Application to Vertex Detection in Planar Shape Data," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, vol. 6, no. , pp. 27-40, 1984.
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