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Topological saliency.

Harish Doraiswamy, Nithin Shivashankar, Vijay Natarajan and Yusu Wang.
Computers & Graphics, 37 (7), 2013, 787-799.
[Elsevier link]


Topological methods have been successfully used to identify features in scalar fields and to measure their importance. In this paper, we define a notion of topological saliency that captures the relative importance of a topological feature with respect to other features in its local neighborhood. Features are identified by extreme points of an input scalar field, and their importance measured by the so-called topological persistence. Computing the topological saliency of all features for varying neighborhood sizes results in a saliency plot that serves as a summary of relative importance of all topological features. We develop a convenient tool for users to interactively select and inspect features using the saliency plot. We demonstrate the use of topological saliency together with the rich information encoded in the saliency plot in several applications, including key feature identification, scalar field simplification, and feature clustering.