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Journal of Information Science and Engineering, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 1771-1785 (November 2008)

A New Seed-Set Finding Approach for Iso-Surface Extraction*

Chuan-Kai Yang and Chiang-Han Hung
Department of Information Management
National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
Taipei, 106 Taiwan

Iso-surface extraction is one of the most important approaches for volume rendering, and iso-contouring is one of the most effective methods for iso-surface extraction. Unlike most other methods having their search domain be the whole dataset, iso-contouring does its search only on a relatively small subset of the original dataset. This subset, called a seed-set, has the property that every iso-surface must intersect with it, and it could be built at the preprocessing time. When an iso-value is given at run time, an iso-contouring algorithm starts from the intersected cells in the seed-set, and gradually propagates to form the desired iso-surface(s). As a smaller seed-set could offer less cell searching time, most existing iso-contouring algorithms concentrate on how to identify a minimal seed-set. In this paper, we propose a new and efficient approach for the construction of a relatively small seed-set. This presented algorithm could reduce the size of a generated seed-set by up to one or two orders of magnitude, compared with other previously proposed linear-time algorithms.

Keywords: iso-surface extraction, iso-contouring, seed-set, min-max span space, volume thinning

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Received January 30, 2007; revised August 13, 2007 & March 5, 2008; accepted March 6, 2008.
Communicated by Tong-Yee Lee.
* This paper was partially supported by the National Science Council of Taiwan, R.O.C. under grant No. NSC 93-2213-E-011-042.