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Re: [Help-gsl] Using GSL to draw a 2D B-Spline path using unevenly space

From: Foivos Diakogiannis
Subject: Re: [Help-gsl] Using GSL to draw a 2D B-Spline path using unevenly spaced points
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 15:47:01 +0800

Hi Michael and all,

I am not a GSL software engineer, but I've been using heavily BSplines and
GSL for scientific purposes.
To your questions:

It is possible to create any geometric shape with BSplines. The
implementation in GSL has some limitations (with regards to knot
distributions, multiplicity of knots, fixed multiplicity in first/last
knots etc) but - at least for scientific applications - I have found all
that I need. So your geometric shape (purple points) it is feasible to be
constructed with a 2D BSpline representation. Unfortunately I don't think
you can reconstruct the purple line with only the red points -
statistically speaking you have very little information. By the way for 2D
BSplines you'll have to do it "by hand" so you'll really need to study the
theory of BSplines. Check this link for more info a d references therein:

As for the appropriate knot distribution for this, in my experience there
is no single choice and there is ongoing research int this direction. The
best method seems to be be implementing Genetic Algorithms in order to find
the best distribution of knots for a particular data set (am writing a
codel for this, slowly ...) . See

If you need BSplines for scientific purposes I think GSL is great!! You may
need to tweak it a bit, see the .h and .c files of the distribution, they
have a lot of comments and you'll understand more the theory of BSplines.
If you want for computer design and graphics, BSplines are not the standard
any more, you'll have to pass to NURBS, and a nice library is this:

in general with a search for nurbs you'll find many more things for
computer design.

Hope the above help,

On Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 6:56 AM, Michael Petrie <address@hidden>

> Hi, my name's Michael, and I'm new to the mailing list, so forgive me if
> I'm asking this question in the wrong place.
> I'm trying to using the GNU Scientific Library (GSL) to draw a smooth path
> from A to B. I'm using an API that returns a small number (8 in this case)
> of irregularly spaced points (in red), that you can see picture [1].
> The purple points represent the points that I would like to see returned
> from GSL.
> Firstly, is this kind of 2D B-Spline shape obtainable by using GSL? I don't
> know much about B-Splines, let alone 2D B-Splines. I was able to get the
> B-Splines example at link [2] running and creating a smooth .ps file
> without problem, but that example uses uniform breakpoints with the
> following code:
>     /* use uniform breakpoints on [0, 15] */
>     gsl_bspline_knots_uniform(0.0, 15.0, bw);
> In my case, given that the data I'm given is erratic and not evenly spaced,
> would I have to use non-uniform knots? I tried using `gsl_bspline_knots()`,
> in order to use non uniform breakpoints within the following test code, but
> I'm really not sure if this is the right direction or not.
>     #define NCOEFFS 8 // not sure what this number should be - number of
> data points?
>     #define NBREAK   (NCOEFFS - 2)
>     const size_t nbreak = NBREAK;
>     int main (void) {
>         // (example code)...
>         gsl_vector *non_uniform = gsl_vector_alloc(nbreak);
>         // create some random breakpoint values
>         for (i=0; i<nbreak; i++) {
>             double val = gsl_ran_gaussian(r, 2.0);
>             printf("val: %f\n", val);
>             gsl_vector_set(non_uniform, i, val);
>         }
>         gsl_bspline_knots(non_uniform, bw);
>         // (more example code)...
>     }
> Further more, how would I translate the above example for drawing B-Splines
> in a 2D x/y coordinate space? If GNU Scientific Library is not suitable for
> this, could someone make a recommendation for a more suitable C/C++
> library?
> Any help or pointers in the direction would be much appreciated.
>   [1]:
>   [2]:
> PS, I have also asked this question at Stack Overflow too:
> --
> Michael Petrie
> Mobile Developer
> +64 21 022 99121
> address@hidden
> *Get the STQRY *

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