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Analysis of surface changes using primitive events

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This paper develops a method for analysing changes in a surface, a scalar function defined over a two-dimensional region. The method is based on the topological method for static surfaces that uses critical points (peaks, bottoms, and cols) and their connecting lines. To extend the topological method to spatiotemporal domain, four types of primitive events are proposed: (1) generation, (2) disappearance, (3) movement, and (4) switch. The change of a surface is described by a combination of these primitives. From surfaces of two times a set of primitive events that cause the change is deduced. They are stored in GIS as spatial objects with attributes, and their spatio-temporal pattern is visually analysed. To test the validity of the method, the change of a retail cluster in Shinjuku and Shibuya area in Tokyo is analysed. The empirical study yielded some interesting findings that help us understand changes in the spatial structure of retailing.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2001

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