Generalizing the Convex Hull of a Sample: The R Package alphahull

Beatriz Pateiro-López, Alberto Rodríguez-Casal

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This paper presents the R package alphahull which implements the α-convex hull and the α-shape of a finite set of points in the plane. These geometric structures provide an informative overview of the shape and properties of the point set. Unlike the convex hull, the α-convex hull and the α-shape are able to reconstruct non-convex sets. This flexibility make them specially useful in set estimation. Since the implementation is based on the intimate relation of theses constructs with Delaunay triangulations, the R package alphahull also includes functions to compute Voronoi and Delaunay tesselations. The usefulness of the package is illustrated with two small simulation studies on boundary length estimation.

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