Efficient handling of implicit entities in reduced mesh representations

Waldemar Celes, Glaucio H. Paulino, Rodrigo Espinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


State-of-the-art numerical analyses require mesh representation with a data structure that provides topological information. Due to the increasing size of the meshes currently used for simulating complex behaviors with finite elements or boundary elements (e.g., adaptive and/or coupled analyses), several researchers have proposed the use of reduced mesh representations. In a reduced representation, only a few types of the defined topological entities are explicitly represented; all the others are implicit and retrieved "on-the-fly," as required. Despite being very effective in reducing the memory space needed to represent large models, reduced representations face the challenge of ensuring the consistency of all implicit entities when the mesh undergoes modifications. As implicit entities are usually described by references to explicit ones, modifying the mesh may change the way implicit entities (which are not directly modified) are represented, e.g., the referenced explicit entities may no longer exist. We propose a new and effective strategy to treat implicit entities in reduced representations, which is capable of handling transient non-manifold configurations. Our strategy allows, from the application point of view, explicit and implicit entities to be interchangeably handled in a uniform and transparent way. As a result, the application can list, access, attach properties to, and hold references to implicit entities, and the underlying data structure ensures that all such information remains valid even if the mesh is modified. The validity of the proposed approach is demonstrated by running a set of computational experiments on different models subjected to dynamic remeshing operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-359
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Finite Element Mesh
  • Implicit Entities
  • Reduced Representation
  • Topological Data Structure


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