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Morse-Smale Regression

School of Computing, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
Publication Date:
J Comput Graph Stat
Volume Number:
Issue Number:
J Comput Graph Stat. 2013 Jan 1;22(1):193-214.
PubMed ID:
Appears in Collections:
P41 RR012553/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States
U54 EB005149/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
Generated Citation:
Gerber S., Rübel O., Bremer P-T., Pascucci V., Whitaker R.T. Morse-Smale Regression. J Comput Graph Stat. 2013 Jan 1;22(1):193-214. PMID: 23687424. PMCID: PMC3653333.
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This paper introduces a novel partition-based regression approach that incorporates topological information. Partition-based regression typically introduce a quality-of-fit-driven decomposition of the domain. The emphasis in this work is on a topologically meaningful segmentation. Thus, the proposed regression approach is based on a segmentation induced by a discrete approximation of the Morse-Smale complex. This yields a segmentation with partitions corresponding to regions of the function with a single minimum and maximum that are often well approximated by a linear model. This approach yields regression models that are amenable to interpretation and have good predictive capacity. Typically, regression estimates are quantified by their geometrical accuracy. For the proposed regression, an important aspect is the quality of the segmentation itself. Thus, this paper introduces a new criterion that measures the topological accuracy of the estimate. The topological accuracy provides a complementary measure to the classical geometrical error measures and is very sensitive to over-fitting. The Morse-Smale regression is compared to state-of-the-art approaches in terms of geometry and topology and yields comparable or improved fits in many cases. Finally, a detailed study on climate-simulation data demonstrates the application of the Morse-Smale regression. Supplementary materials are available online and contain an implementation of the proposed approach in the R package msr, an analysis and simulations on the stability of the Morse-Smale complex approximation and additional tables for the climate-simulation study.

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