Shock Graphs and Shape Matching

We have been developing a theory for the generic representation of 2-D shape, where structural descriptions are derived from the shocks (singularities) of a curve evolution process, acting on bounding contours. We now apply the theory to the problem of shape matching. The shocks are organized into a directed, acyclic shock graph, and complexity is managed by attending to the most significant (central) shape components first. The space of all such graphs is highly structured and can be characterized by the rules of a shock graph grammar. The grammar permits a reduction of a shock graph to a unique rooted shock tree. We introduce a novel tree matching algorithm which finds the best set of corresponding nodes between two shock trees in polynomial time. Using a diverse database of shapes, we demonstrate our system's performance under articulation, occlusion, and changes in viewpoint.