A qualitative and quantitative visibility analysis in urban scenes

Boaz Nadler*, Gadi Fibich, Shuly Lev-Yehudi, Daniel Cohen-Or

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In this paper we present a mathematical model of a generic urban scene, which can be used to answer a variety of visibility questions. Aside from its theoretical merit, the mathematical model provides an important analysis tool to optimize urban walkthrough algorithms. We formulate the probability for a given object to be visible from a given viewcell as a function of distance from the viewcell. We address various issues related to the implementation of virtual walkthrough, such as storage requirements, optimal viewcell size and cell-to-cell coherency, from which we derive space-effective data structures. Quantitative simulations verify the validity of our analysis. We simulate visibility in scenes with randomly distributed (Poisson) objects as well in pseudo-random (jittered) scenes, and compare these simulation results with our mathematical model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-666
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Graphics (Pergamon)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1999


  • Aspect graphs
  • Occlusion culling
  • Probabilistic models
  • Space subdivision
  • Visibility


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