Information theory in computer graphics and visualization

Mateu Sbert*, Miquel Feixas, Ivan Viola, Jaume Rigau, Miguel Chover

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We present a half-day course to review several information theory applications for computer graphics and visualization. Information theory tools, widely used in scientific fields such as engineering, physics, genetics and neuroscience, are also emerging as useful transversal tools in computer graphics and related fields. We introduce the basic concepts of information theory and how they map into application areas. Application areas in computer graphics include viewpoint selection, mesh saliency, scene exploration, ambient occlusion, geometry simplification, radiosity, adaptive ray-tracing and shape descriptors. Application areas in visualization are view selection for volume data, flow visualization, ambient occlusion, time-varying volume visualization, transfer function definition, time-varying volume visualization, iso-surface similarity maps and quality metrics. The applications fall broadly into two categories: the mapping of the problem to an information channel - as in viewpoint applications - and the direct use of measures such as entropy, Kullback-Leibler distance, Jensen-Shannon divergence, and f-divergences. These would be used to evaluate, for instance, the homogeneity of a set of samples being used as metrics. We will also discuss the potential applications of the information bottleneck method that allows us to progressively extract or merge information in a hierarchical structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGGRAPH Asia 2011 Courses, SA'11
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventSIGGRAPH Asia 2011 Courses, SA'11 - Hong Kong, China
Duration: Dec 12 2011Dec 15 2011

Publication series

NameSIGGRAPH Asia 2011 Courses, SA'11


ConferenceSIGGRAPH Asia 2011 Courses, SA'11
CityHong Kong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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