Abstract

We explore a method of representing solid shape that is useful for visual recognition. We assume that complex shapes are constructed from convex, compact shapes and that construction involves three operations: solid union (to form humps), solid subtraction (to leave dents), and smoothing (to remove discontinuities). The boundaries between shapes joined through these operations are contours of extrema of a principal curvature. Complex objects can be decomposed along these boundaries into convex shapes, the so-called parts. We suggest that this decomposition into parts forms the basis for a shape memory. We show that the part boundaries of an object can be inferred from its occluding contours, at least up to a number of ambiguities.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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