Segmenting a surface mesh into pants using Morse theory

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A pair of pants is a genus zero orientable surface with three boundary components. A pants decomposition of a surface is a finite collection of unordered pairwise disjoint simple closed curves embedded in the surface that decompose the surface into pants. In this paper, we present two Morse theory based algorithms for pants decomposition of a surface mesh. Both algorithms operates on a choice of an appropriate Morse function on the surface. The first algorithm uses this Morse function to identify handles that are glued systematically to obtain a pants decomposition. The second algorithm uses the Reeb graph of the Morse function to obtain a pants decomposition. Both algorithms work for surfaces with or without boundaries. Our preliminary implementation of the two algorithms shows that both algorithms run in much less time than an existing state-of-the-art method, and the Reeb graph based algorithm achieves the best time efficiency. Finally, we demonstrate the robustness of our algorithms against noise.

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