Cancellation of critical points in 2D and 3D Morse and Morse-Smale complexes

TitleCancellation of critical points in 2D and 3D Morse and Morse-Smale complexes
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsČomić L, De Floriani L
Conference NameDiscrete Geometry for Computer Imagery
Date Published2008///

Morse theory studies the relationship between the topology of a manifold M and the critical points of a scalar function f defined on M. The Morse-Smale complex associated with f induces a subdivision of M into regions of uniform gradient flow, and represents the topology of M in a compact way. Function f can be simplified by cancelling its critical points in pairs, thus simplifying the topological representation of M, provided by the Morse-Smale complex. Here, we investigate the effect of the cancellation of critical points of f in Morse-Smale complexes in two and three dimensions by showing how the change of connectivity of a Morse-Smale complex induced by a cancellation can be interpreted and understood in a more intuitive and straightforward way as a change of connectivity in the corresponding ascending and descending Morse complexes. We consider a discrete counterpart of the Morse-Smale complex, called a quasi-Morse complex, and we present a compact graph-based representation of such complex and of its associated discrete Morse complexes, showing also how such representation is affected by a cancellation.