Geometric and Feature modelling

Efficiency of boundary evaluation for a cellular model


Feature modeling systems usually employ a boundary representation (b-rep) to store the shape information on a product. It has, however, been shown that a b-rep has a number of shortcomings, and that a cellular representation can be a valuable alternative. A cellular model stores additional shape information on features, including the feature faces that are not on the boundary of the product. Such information can be profitably used for several purposes.
A major operation in every feature modeling system is boundary evaluation, which computes the geometric model of a product, i.e. either the b-rep or the cellular model, from the features that have been specified by the user. Since boundary evaluation has to be executed each time a feature is added, removed or modified, its efficiency is of paramount importance.
In this paper, boundary evaluation for a cellular model is described in some detail. Its efficiency is compared to the efficiency of boundary evaluation for a b-rep, on the basis of both complexity analysis and performance measurements for the two types of evaluation. It turns out that boundary evaluation for a cellular model is, in fact, more efficient than for a b-rep, which makes cellular models even more attractive as an alternative to b-reps.

Reprinted from Computer-Aided Design, Vol. 37, Rafael Bidarra, Joaquim Madeira, Willem J Neels and Willem F Bronsvoort, Efficiency of boundary evaluation for a cellular model, pp. 1266-1284, 2005, with permission from Elsevier Science.
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Bidarra R, Madeira J, Neels WJ and Bronsvoort WF (2005), Efficiency of boundary evaluation for a cellular model. Computer-Aided Design, Vol. 37, no. 12, pp. 1266-1284.