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Ellipsoidal Harmonics for 3D Shape Description and Retrieval

In this paper, a novel approach for 3-D Shape description and retrieval based on the theory of ellipsoidal harmonics is presented. Four novel descriptors are introduced: the surface ellipsoidal harmonics descriptor, which concerns 3-D objects that are described as polygonal surfaces; the volumetric ellipsoidal harmonics descriptor, which is applicable to volumetric 3-D objects; the generalized ellipsoidal harmonics descriptor that is applied to any local 3-D object descriptors; and, finally, the combined ellipsoidal-spherical harmonics descriptor, which leads to a compact and powerful descriptor that inherits the advantages of both approaches: the rotation invariance properties of the spherical harmonics and the directional information enclosed in ellipsoidal harmonics. Experimental results performed using well-known 3-D object databases prove the retrieval efficiency of the proposed approach.