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Line Simplification


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Line Simplification



19 Aug 2008 (Updated )

Recursive Douglas-Peucker Polyline Simplification (Iterative Endpoint Fit)

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dpsimplify uses the recursive Douglas-Peucker line simplification algorithm to reduce the number of vertices in a polyline according to a specified tolerance. The algorithm is also know as Iterative Endpoint Fit algorithm. dpsimplify can handle polylines and polygones in 2d and higher dimensions.

The submission now contains another m-file (dpsimplify_octave.m) that has been slightly modified to run with GNU Octave.


[ps,ix] = dpsimplify(p,tol)

where p is a nxm matrix that contains n vertices in m dimensions.
For additional information on the algorithm follow this link


This file inspired Region Growing (2 D/3 D Grayscale).

MATLAB release MATLAB 7.5 (R2007b)
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Comments and Ratings (13)
25 Jun 2012 Antony37

Hi Wolfgang,
Thank you..:)


25 Jun 2012 Wolfgang Schwanghart

@Antony37: Simplifyrec basically does one step shown here
It is called recursively so that the entire sequence shown in the picture is computed.

25 Jun 2012 Antony37

Hi Wolfgang,
Can you explain the logic under the function 'simplifyrec'?

29 Sep 2011 Mate  
05 Sep 2011 Daniel  
19 Jan 2011 Brandon  
29 Oct 2010 AndreasChr Christ

Hi Wolfgang,
thanks for your answer. Iwill try it

25 Oct 2010 Wolfgang Schwanghart

Hi Andreas,

unfortunately I do not have access to the mapping toolbox, so I cannot tell if the results will be the same for dpsimplify and reducem. In general, however, I think, you can replace reducem with this function.

Best regards,

20 Oct 2010 AndreasChr Christ

Hi Wolfgang,
I have got cell tracking algorithm for microcopy images as m-files.
Unfortunately this uses MathLabs function "reducem". But we don't have the maps toolbox this function belongs to. Do you have experience if your dpsimplify could repolace reducem?

30 Mar 2010 Alistair Templeton

Hi Wolfgang,
I wanted to simplify a contour as exported from a piece of imaging software which was way oversampled. Your program completely plugged and played, perfect!


21 Aug 2008 Wolfgang Schwanghart

The file has been updated so that the function can handle polylines, where the first and last vertex have the same coordinates. Just wait a short time until the updated version from 22. August appears.

21 Aug 2008 Wolfgang Schwanghart

Hi Gwen,

you are right. I'll fix that as soon as possible.


20 Aug 2008 Gwendolyn Fisch


the implementation fails if start and end point of the given line are the same.


22 Aug 2008

algorithm works also for polygons (start and end point of the polyline are the same).

10 Jan 2009

only minor changes: added some comments and changed the link to more information since it was dead.

15 Jun 2009

Removed a bug in calculating the second output argument. Improved handling of lines with only one segment.

14 Jun 2010

Added some information in the description.

13 Jul 2010

added m-file that runs with GNU Octave

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