DGtal  1.2.0
Sets of points in digital spaces
Author(s) of this documentation:
Jacques-Olivier Lachaud


Digital sets are sets of digital points within some domain of a digital space. They are thus subsets of a given domain (e.g. see Domains and HyperRectDomains). As such, their elements can be enumerated with iterators through the range [begin(),end()). Furthermore, digital sets can be complemented within their domain. Last, a digital set is also a predicate on point, returning true whenever the points lies inside the set.

The concept concepts::CDigitalSet and models of concepts::CDigitalSet

There are several ways for defining concretely a digital set, this is why digital sets are specified through the concept concepts::CDigitalSet. All types and required methods are specified in the documentation of CDigitalSet. It is worthy to note that a digital set is also associated to a digital domain, i.e. any model of concepts::CDomain.

There exists several models for concepts::CDigitalSet; their difference lies in the way elements are stored (let n be the number of points in the set).

  • DigitalSetBySTLSet: it is the most versatile representation for digital sets, and the one which should be preferred if you have no specific properties for your set. The container is the standard simple associative container std::set (a model of boost::SimpleAssociativeContainer). All find, insertion and deletion requests are \( O(\log n) \) complexity. Internal order can be changed by specifiing another Compare functor as template parameter.
  • DigitalSetBySTLVector: this representation is suited for very small set of points (for instance a neighborhood). The container is the standard sequence container std::vector (a model of boost::Sequence). All find, insertion and deletion requests are \( O(n) \) complexity.
  • DigitalSetFromMap: it is not a container but an adapter to an existing map Point -> Value. Elements of the digital set are by definition the keys of the map.
  • DigitalSetByAssociativeContainer: it is a generic container which adapts any associative container (e.g. from the STL or from boost). For example, if you instantiate such digital set on a std::set, this class exactly matches with DigitalSetBySTLSet. The main advantage of this container is its ability to adapt hash function based containers such as std::unordered_set (for C++11 enabled build) or boost::unordered_set. Compared to DigitalSetBySTLSet, DigitalSetByAssociativeContainer on std::unordered_set is expected to be 20% - 50% faster when accessing or inserting points in the set.

You may choose yourself your representation of digital set, or let DGtal chooses for you the best suited representation with the class DigitalSetSelector. This is done by choosing among the following properties:

  • the expected size of the set with enum DigitalSetSize, from small to huge: SMALL_DS, MEDIUM_DS, BIG_DS, WHOLE_DS.
  • the expected variability of the set with enum DigitalSetVariability: will the set change a lot during its lifetime (HIGH_VAR_DS) or not (LOW_VAR_DS) ?
  • the expected number of times you will iterate through the elements of the set with enum DigitalSetIterability, few times is LOW_ITER_DS, many times is HIGH_ITER_DS.
  • the number of times you will test for the presence of points in the set with enum DigitalSetBelongTestability, few times is LOW_BEL_DS, many times is HIGH_BEL_DS.
By default, Z2i::DigitalSet and Z3i::DigitalSet in StdDefs.h refer to the associative container with hash functions (fastest on large sets).

The following lines selects a rather generic representation for digital sets, since the set may be big, will be iterated many times and points will be tested many times:

typedef SpaceND<2> Z2;
typedef HyperRectDomain<Z2> Domain;
// here SpecificSet is DigitalSetByAssociativeContainer<(boost or std)::unordered_set<Point>, Domain>.
Space Z2
Definition: StdDefs.h:76
DigitalSetByAssociativeContainer< Domain, std::unordered_set< typename Domain::Point > > Type
HyperRectDomain< Space > Domain

Using digital sets

The following snippet shows how to define a digital set in space Z2, within a rectangular domain, then how to insert points, how to visit them and how to test if a point belongs to the set.

typedef SpaceND<2> Z2;
typedef HyperRectDomain<Z2> Domain;
typedef Z2::Point Point;
// instantiating rectangular domain
Point p1( -10, -10 );
Point p2( 10, 10 );
Domain domain( p1, p2 );
// instanciating set within this domain.
SpecificSet mySet( domain );
Point c( 0, 0 );
mySet.insert( c ); // inserting point (0,0)
Point d( 5, 2 );
mySet.insert( d ); // inserting point (5,2)
Point e( 1, -3 );
mySet.insert( e ); // inserting point (1,-3)
// Iterating through the set
for ( ConstIterator it = mySet.begin(), itEnd = mySet.end();
it != itEnd; ++it )
std::cout << *it << std::endl;
// Checking points within set
bool ok_c = mySet( c ); // should be true
bool ok_d = mySet( d ); // should be true
bool ok_e = mySet( e ); // should be true
bool not_ok = mySet( Point( 1,1) ); // should be false
MyDigitalSurface::ConstIterator ConstIterator
MyPointD Point
Definition: testClone2.cpp:383
Domain domain

Other methods may be found in the concept definition of digital sets (CDigitalSet).

Digital sets and point predicates

Since 0.6, any digital set is also a model of concepts::CPointPredicate. You may thus use a digital set directly in functions and methods requiring a predicate on points. However, the class deprecated::SetPredicate, which builds a predicate on points around a digital set, is deprecated since 0.6. You may still used it by referecing it with DGtal::deprecated::SetPredicate, but it will no longer be maintained.

A digital set may be transformed into a domain

Sometimes it is useful to see a digital set as a new domain for further computation. This is possible with the facade class DigitalSetDomain, which wraps around some given digital set all necessary methods and types so that it satisfies the concept concepts::CDomain.

typedef DigitalSetDomain< SpecificSet > RestrictedDomain;
RestrictedDomain myDomain( mySet );
// this domain is limited to three points c, d and e.
The DigitalSetDomain class is only a wrapper around the digital set. The lifetime of the digital set must thus exceed the lifetime of the DigitalSetDomain.