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Non-intersecting leaf insertion algorithm for tree structure models

Akerblom, M; Raumonen, P; Casella, E; Disney, MI; Danson, FM; Gaulton, R; Schofield, LA; (2018) Non-intersecting leaf insertion algorithm for tree structure models. Interface Focus , 8 (2) 10.1098/rsfs.2017.0045. Green open access

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Abstract

We present an algorithm and an implementation to insert broadleaves or needleleaves into a quantitative structure model according to an arbitrary distribution, and a data structure to store the required information efficiently. A structure model contains the geometry and branching structure of a tree. The purpose of this work is to offer a tool for making more realistic simulations of tree models with leaves, particularly for tree models developed from terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) measurements. We demonstrate leaf insertion using cylinder-based structure models, but the associated software implementation is written in a way that enables the easy use of other types of structure models. Distributions controlling leaf location, size and angles as well as the shape of individual leaves are user definable, allowing any type of distribution. The leaf generation process consist of two stages, the first of which generates individual leaf geometry following the input distributions, while in the other stage intersections are prevented by carrying out transformations when required. Initial testing was carried out on English oak trees to demonstrate the approach and to assess the required computational resources. Depending on the size and complexity of the tree, leaf generation takes between 6 and 18 min. Various leaf area density distributions were defined, and the resulting leaf covers were compared with manual leaf harvesting measurements. The results are not conclusive, but they show great potential for the method. In the future, if our method is demonstrated to work well for TLS data from multiple tree types, the approach is likely to be very useful for three-dimensional structure and radiative transfer simulation applications, including remote sensing, ecology and forestry, among others.

Type: Article
Title: Non-intersecting leaf insertion algorithm for tree structure models
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsfs.2017.0045
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2017.0045
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045359
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