Combining persistent homology and invariance groups for shape comparison

Patrizio Frosini, Grzegorz Jablonski

In many applications concerning the comparison of data expressed by $\mathbb{R}^m$-valued functions defined on a topological space $X$, the invariance with respect to a given group $G$ of self-homeomorphisms of $X$ is required. While persistent homology is quite efficient in the topological and qualitative comparison of this kind of data when the invariance group $G$ is the group $\mathrm{Homeo}(X)$ of all self-homeomorphisms of $X$, this theory is not tailored to manage the case in which $G$ is a proper subgroup of $\mathrm{Homeo}(X)$, and its invariance appears too general for several tasks. This paper proposes a way to adapt persistent homology in order to get invariance just with respect to a given group of self-homeomorphisms of $X$. The main idea consists in a dual approach, based on considering the set of all $G$-invariant non-expanding operators defined on the space of the admissible filtering functions on $X$. Some theoretical results concerning this approach are proven and two experiments are presented. An experiment illustrates the application of the proposed technique to compare 1D-signals, when the invariance is expressed by the group of affinities, the group of orientation-preserving affinities, the group of isometries, the group of translations and the identity group. Another experiment shows how our technique can be used for image comparison.

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