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Topological Shape

Two characteristics of shape that are often recognized by humans are topology and boundary fractal dimension. The first of these is captured by the feature’s skeleton. For example, the number of points in each star-shaped feature is instantly recognized by the viewer, and corresponds to the number of end points in the skeleton. That property can be used as shown to label the features. This interactive Java tutorial illustrates the use of the skeleton to characterize the topological shapes of objects.

Interactive Java Tutorial
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The tutorial initializes with various shapes in black on a white background appearing in the Specimen Image window. Selecting the Original button shows the original image. Selecting the Skeletons button superimposes the skeleton on each feature, while selecting the End Points button marks the end of each branch in each. Selecting the Color-Coded button shows each feature with a unique color assigned on the basis of the number of ends in its skeleton.

Contributing Authors

John C. Russ - Materials Science and Engineering Dept., North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27695.

Matthew Parry-Hill, and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.


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