Shape Simplification Based on the Medial Axis Transform

Roger Tam*, Wolfgang Heidrich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We present a new algorithm for simplifying the shape of 3D objects by manipulating their medial axis transform (MAT). From an unorganized set of boundary points, our algorithm computes the MAT, decomposes the axis into parts, then selectively removes a subset of these parts in order to reduce the complexity of the overall shape. The result is a simplified MAT that can be used for a variety of shape operations. In addition, a polygonal surface of the resulting shape can be directly generated from the filtered MAT using a robust surface reconstruction method. The algorithm presented is shown to have a number of advantages over other existing approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE Visualization Conference
EditorsG. Turk, J.J. Wijk, R. Moorhead
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventVIS 2003 PROCEEDINGS - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Oct 19 2003Oct 24 2003


Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA


  • Medial axis transform
  • Shape simplification
  • Topology preservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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