Nonlinear dimensionality reduction by topologically constrained isometric embedding

Guy Rosman, Michael M. Bronstein, Alexander M. Bronstein, Ron Kimmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many manifold learning procedures try to embed a given feature data into a flat space of low dimensionality while preserving as much as possible the metric in the natural feature space. The embedding process usually relies on distances between neighboring features, mainly since distances between features that are far apart from each other often provide an unreliable estimation of the true distance on the feature manifold due to its non-convexity. Distortions resulting from using long geodesics indiscriminately lead to a known limitation of the Isomap algorithm when used to map non-convex manifolds. Presented is a framework for nonlinear dimensionality reduction that uses both local and global distances in order to learn the intrinsic geometry of flat manifolds with boundaries. The resulting algorithm filters out potentially problematic distances between distant feature points based on the properties of the geodesics connecting those points and their relative distance to the boundary of the feature manifold, thus avoiding an inherent limitation of the Isomap algorithm. Since the proposed algorithm matches non-local structures, it is robust to strong noise. We show experimental results demonstrating the advantages of the proposed approach over conventional dimensionality reduction techniques, both global and local in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-68
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Vision
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential geometry
  • Dimensionality reduction
  • Image manifolds
  • Isomap
  • Machine learning


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