🍩 Database of Original & Non-Theoretical Uses of Topology

(found 2 matches in 0.000704s)
  1. Persistent Homology of Geospatial Data: A Case Study With Voting (2021)

    Michelle Feng, Mason A. Porter
    Abstract A crucial step in the analysis of persistent homology is the transformation of data into an appropriate topological object (which, in our case, is a simplicial complex). Software packages for computing persistent homology typically construct Vietoris--Rips or other distance-based simplicial complexes on point clouds because they are relatively easy to compute. We investigate alternative methods of constructing simplicial complexes and the effects of making associated choices during simplicial-complex construction on the output of persistent-homology algorithms. We present two new methods for constructing simplicial complexes from two-dimensional geospatial data (such as maps). We apply these methods to a California precinct-level voting data set, and we thereby demonstrate that our new constructions can capture geometric characteristics that are missed by distance-based constructions. Our new constructions can thus yield more interpretable persistence modules and barcodes for geospatial data. In particular, they are able to distinguish short-persistence features that occur only for a narrow range of distance scales (e.g., voting patterns in densely populated cities) from short-persistence noise by incorporating information about other spatial relationships between regions.
  2. Spatial Applications of Topological Data Analysis: Cities, Snowflakes, Random Structures, and Spiders Spinning Under the Influence (2020)

    Michelle Feng, Mason A. Porter
    Abstract Spatial networks are ubiquitous in social, geographic, physical, and biological applications. To understand their large-scale structure, it is important to develop methods that allow one to directly probe the effects of space on structure and dynamics. Historically, algebraic topology has provided one framework for rigorously and quantitatively describing the global structure of a space, and recent advances in topological data analysis (TDA) have given scholars a new lens for analyzing network data. In this paper, we study a variety of spatial networks --- including both synthetic and natural ones --- using novel topological methods that we recently developed specifically for analyzing spatial networks. We demonstrate that our methods are able to capture meaningful quantities, with specifics that depend on context, in spatial networks and thereby provide useful insights into the structure of those networks, including a novel approach for characterizing them based on their topological structures. We illustrate these ideas with examples of synthetic networks and dynamics on them, street networks in cities, snowflakes, and webs spun by spiders under the influence of various psychotropic substances.