January 8 – 13 , 2017, Dagstuhl Seminar 17021

Functoriality in Geometric Data


Mirela Ben-Chen (Technion – Haifa, IL)
Frédéric Chazal (INRIA Saclay – Palaiseau, FR)
Leonidas J. Guibas (Stanford University, US)
Maks Ovsjanikov (Ecole Polytechnique – Palaiseau, FR)

For support, please contact

Dagstuhl Service Team


Dagstuhl Report, Volume 7, Issue 1 Dagstuhl Report
Aims & Scope
List of Participants
Dagstuhl Seminar Schedule [pdf]


Across science, engineering, medicine and business we face a deluge of data coming from sensors, from simulations, or from the activities of myriads of individuals on the Internet. The data often has a geometric character, as is the case with 1D GPS traces, 2D images, 3D scans, and so on. Furthermore, the data sets we collect are frequently highly correlated, reflecting information about the same or similar entities in the world, or echoing semantically important repetitions/symmetries or hierarchical structures common to both man-made and natural objects.

A recent trend, emerging independently in multiple theoretical and applied communities is to understand geometric data sets through their relations and interconnections, a point of view that can be broadly described as exploiting the functoriality of data, which has a long tradition associated with it in mathematics. Functoriality, in its broadest form, is the notion that in dealing with any kind of mathematical object, it is at least as important to understand the transformations or symmetries possessed by the object or the family of objects to which it belongs, as it is to study the object itself. This general idea been successfully applied in a large variety of fields, both theoretical and practical, often leading to deep insights into the structure of various objects as well as to elegant and efficient methods in various application domains, including computational geometry, computer vision and computer graphics.

This seminar brought together researchers and practitioners interested in notions of similarity, correspondence and, more generally, relations across geometric data sets. Mathematical and computational tools for the construction, analysis, and exploitation of such relational networks were the central focus of this seminar.

Summary text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 Unported license
  Mirela Ben-Chen, Frédéric Chazal, Leonidas J. Guibas, and Maks Ovsjanikov


  • Computer Graphics / Computer Vision
  • Multimedia
  • Optimization / Scheduling


  • Computational Geometry
  • Geometry Processing
  • Data Analysis


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


Download overview leaflet (PDF).

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.


Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.