Visibility graphs of random scalar fields and spatial data
Physical Review E
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The family of visibility algorithms were recently introduced as mappings between time series and graphs. Here we extend this method to characterize spatially extended data structures by mapping scalar fields of arbitrary dimension into graphs. After introducing several possible extensions, we provide analytical results on some topological properties of these graphs associated to some types of real-valued matrices, which can be understood as the high and low disorder limits of real-valued scalar fields. In particular, we find a closed expression for the degree distribution of these graphs associated to uncorrelated random fields of generic dimension, extending a well known result in one-dimensional time series. As this result holds independently of the field's marginal distribution, we show that it directly yields a statistical randomness test, applicable in any dimension. We showcase its usefulness by discriminating spatial snapshots of two-dimensional white noise from snapshots of a two-dimensional lattice of diffusively coupled chaotic maps, a system that generates high dimensional spatio-temporal chaos. We finally discuss the range of potential applications of this combinatorial framework, which include image processing in engineering, the description of surface growth in material science, soft matter or medicine and the characterization of potential energy surfaces in chemistry, disordered systems and high energy physics. An illustration on the applicability of this method for the classification of the different stages involved in carcinogenesis is briefly discussed.
AuthorsLacasa, L; Iacovacci, J
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