David Bommes: Applied Optimization (not only) for Geometry Processing

Abstract: Countless techniques in geometry processing can be described variationally, that is, as the minimization or maximization of an objective function measuring shape properties. Algorithms for parameterization, mapping, quad meshing, alignment, smoothing, and other tasks can be expressed and solved in this powerful language. With this motivation in mind, this talk will cover important classes of optimization problems and corresponding algorithms to solve them. In particular I will discuss the fundamentals, advantages and drawbacks of widely used algorithms like Active Set and Interior-Point methods for constrained optimization as well as Branch-and-Bound techniques for mixed-integer optimization problems. All these algorithms will be motivated and explained geometrically such that important concepts, as for instance convexity, are clarified from an intuitive point of view. The main goal of this talk is to offer a practical introduction to the area of advanced optimization that helps new users to master crucial design choices.

Bio: David Bommes is an assistant professor in the Computer Science department at RWTH Aachen University (Germany). His PhD thesis from 2012 on Quadrilateral Surface Mesh Generation for Animation and Simulation was awarded the EUROGRAPHICS Best Ph.D. Thesis Award and in May 2016 he received the EUROGRAPHICS Young Researcher Award. Currently he is leading the Mesh Generation and Optimization group, which scientifically contributes to the areas of geometry processing, in particular direction fields, parametrization and quad/hex mesh generation, and nonlinear/mixed-integer optimization.