Morse theory offers a natural and mathematically-sound tool for shape analysis and understanding. It allows studying the behavior of a scalar function defined on a manifold. Starting from a Morse function, we can decompose the domain of the function into meaningful regions associated with the critical points of the function. Such decompositions, called Morse complexes, provide a segmentation of a shape and are extensively used in terrain modeling and in scientific visualization. Discrete Morse theory, a combinatorial counterpart of smooth Morse theory defined over cell complexes, provides an excellent basis for computing Morse complexes in a robust and efficient way. Moreover, since a discrete Morse complex computed over a given complex has the same homology as the original one, but fewer cells, discrete Morse theory is a fundamental tool for efficiently detecting holes in shapes through homology and persistent homology. In this survey, we review, classify and analyze algorithms for computing and simplifying Morse complexes in the context of such applications with an emphasis on discrete Morse theory and on algorithms based on it.
Complex networks require effective tools and visualizations for their analysis and comparison. Clique communities have been recognized as a powerful concept for describing cohesive structures in networks. We propose an approach that extends the computation of clique communities by considering persistent homology, a topological paradigm originally introduced to characterize and compare the global structure of shapes. Our persistence-based algorithm is able to detect clique communities and to keep track of their evolution according to different edge weight thresholds. We use this information to define comparison metrics and a new centrality measure, both reflecting the relevance of the clique communities inherent to the network. Moreover, we propose an interactive visualization tool based on nested graphs that is capable of compactly representing the evolving relationships between communities for different thresholds and clique degrees. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on various network types.
We consider the problem of efficiently computing homology with Z coefficients as well as homology generators for simplicial complexes of arbitrary dimension. We analyze, compare and discuss the equivalence of different methods based on combining reductions, coreductions and discrete Morse theory. We show that the combination of these methods produces theoretically sound approaches which are mutually equivalent. One of these methods has been implemented for simplicial complexes by using a compact data structure for representing the complex and a compact encoding of the discrete Morse gradient. We present experimental results and discuss further developments.
Topological data analysis and its main method, persistent homology, provide a toolkit for computing topological information of high-dimensional and noisy data sets. Kernels for oneparameter persistent homology have been established to connect persistent homology with machine learning techniques with applicability on shape analysis, recognition and classification. We contribute a kernel construction for multi-parameter persistence by integrating a one-parameter kernel weighted along straight lines. We prove that our kernel is stable and efficiently computable, which establishes a theoretical connection between topological data analysis and machine learning for multivariate data analysis.
We consider the problem of efficiently computing a discrete Morse complex on simplicial complexes of arbitrary dimension and very large size. Based on a common graph-based formalism, we analyze existing data structures for simplicial complexes, and we define an efficient encoding for the discrete Morse gradient on the most compact of such representations. We theoretically compare methods based on reductions and coreductions for computing a discrete Morse gradient, proving that the combination of reductions and coreductions produces new mutually equivalent approaches. We design and implement a new algorithm for computing a discrete Morse complex on simplicial complexes. We show that our approach scales very well with the size and the dimension of the simplicial complex also through comparisons with the only existing public-domain algorithm for discrete Morse complex computation. We discuss applications to the computation of multi-parameter persistent homology and of extrema graphs for visualization of time-varying 3D scalar fields.
The homological scaffold leverages persistent homology to construct a topologically sound summary of a weighted network. However, its crucial dependency on the choice of representative cycles hinders the ability to trace back global features onto individual network components, unless one provides a principled way to make such a choice. In this paper, we apply recent advances in the computation of minimal homology bases to introduce a quasi-canonical version of the scaffold, called minimal, and employ it to analyze data both real and in silico. At the same time, we verify that, statistically, the standard scaffold is a good proxy of the minimal one for sufficiently complex networks.
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