Preprint serie A784/2018
A Simple and Complete Discrete Exterior Calculus on General Polygonal Meshes
Lenka Ptackova, Luiz Velho
Keywords: Polygonal meshes, discrete exterior calculus, discrete differential geometry

Discrete exterior calculus (DEC) offers a coordinate-free discretization of exterior calculus especially suited for computations on curved spaces. In this work, we present an extended version of DEC on surface meshes formed by general polygons that bypasses the need for combinatorial subdivision and does not involve any dual mesh. At its core, our approach introduces a polygonal wedge product that is compatible with the discrete exterior derivative in the sense that it satisfies the Leibniz product rule. Based on the discrete wedge product, we then derive a novel primal–to–primal Hodge star operator. Combining these three ’basic operators’ we then define discrete versions of the contraction operator and Lie derivative, codifferential and Laplace operator. We discuss the numerical convergence of each one of these operators and compare them to existing DEC methods. Finally, we show simple applications of our operators on Helmholtz–Hodge decomposition, Laplacian surface fairing, and Lie advection of functions and vector fields on meshes formed by general polygons.

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