Up: Home page for Qhull
Up: Qhull manual: Table of Contents
To: ProgramsOptionsOutputFormatsGeomviewPrintQhullPrecisionTrace
To: synopsis • input • outputs • controls • options


[cone]qhull -- convex hull and related structures

The convex hull of a set of points is the smallest convex set containing the points. The Delaunay triangulation and furthest-site Delaunay triangulation are equivalent to a convex hull in one higher dimension. Halfspace intersection about a point is equivalent to a convex hull by polar duality.

The qhull program provides options to build these structures and to experiment with the process. Use the qconvex, qdelaunay, qhalf, and qvoronoi programs to build specific structures. You may use qhull instead. It takes the same options and uses the same code.

Example: rbox 1000 D3 | qhull C-1e-4 FO Ts
Compute the 3-d convex hull of 1000 random points. Centrums must be 10^-4 below neighboring hyperplanes. Print the options and precision constants. When done, print statistics. These options may be used with any of the Qhull programs.
 
Example: rbox 1000 D3 | qhull d R1e-4 Q0
Compute the 3-d Delaunay triangulation of 1000 random points. Randomly perturb all calculations by [0.9999,1.0001]. Do not correct precision problems. This leads to serious precision errors.

Use the following equivalences when calling qhull in 2-d to 4-d (a 3-d Delaunay triangulation is a 4-d convex hull):

Use the following equivalences when calling qhull in 5-d and higher (a 4-d Delaunay triangulation is a 5-d convex hull):

If you use 'Qt' (triangulated output), all furthest-site Delaunay regions will be simplicial (e.g., triangles in 2-d). Some regions may be degenerate and have zero area. Qhull can identify coincident points. With facet merging, cocircular and cospherical extreme points will lead to non-simplicial output (e.g., a square).

If you use 'QJ' (joggle), all furthest-site Delaunay regions will be simplicial (e.g., triangles in 2-d). Duplicate points will create small regions since the points are joggled apart. See Joggled input or merged facets.

The output for 4-d convex hulls may be confusing if the convex hull contains non-simplicial facets (e.g., a hypercube). See Why are there extra points in a 4-d or higher convex hull?

Copyright © 1995-2002 The Geometry Center, Minneapolis MN


qhull synopsis

qhull- compute convex hulls and related structures. 
    input (stdin): dimension, n, point coordinates
    comments start with a non-numeric character
    halfspace: use dim+1 and put offsets after coefficients

options (qh-quick.htm):
    d    - Delaunay triangulation by lifting points to a paraboloid
    d Qu - furthest-site Delaunay triangulation (upper convex hull)
    v    - Voronoi diagram as the dual of the Delaunay triangulation
    v Qu - furthest-site Voronoi diagram
    H1,1 - Halfspace intersection about [1,1,0,...] via polar duality
    Qt   - triangulated output
    QJ   - joggle input instead of merging facets
    Tv   - verify result: structure, convexity, and point inclusion
    .    - concise list of all options
    -    - one-line description of all options

Output options (subset):
    s    - summary of results (default)
    i    - vertices incident to each facet
    n    - normals with offsets
    p    - vertex coordinates (if 'Qc', includes coplanar points)
           if 'v', Voronoi vertices
    Fp   - halfspace intersections
    Fx   - extreme points (convex hull vertices)
    FA   - compute total area and volume
    o    - OFF format (if 'v', outputs Voronoi regions)
    G    - Geomview output (2-d, 3-d and 4-d)
    m    - Mathematica output (2-d and 3-d)
    QVn  - print facets that include point n, -n if not
    TO file- output results to file, may be enclosed in single quotes

examples:
    rbox c d D2 | qhull Qc s f Fx | more      rbox 1000 s | qhull Tv s FA
    rbox 10 D2 | qhull d QJ s i TO result     rbox 10 D2 | qhull v Qt p
    rbox 10 D2 | qhull d Qu QJ m              rbox 10 D2 | qhull v Qu QJ o
    rbox c | qhull n                          rbox c | qhull FV n | qhull H Fp
    rbox d D12 | qhull QR0 FA                 rbox c D7 | qhull FA TF1000
    rbox y 1000 W0 | qhull                    rbox 10 | qhull v QJ o Fv

qhull input

The input data on stdin consists of:

Use I/O redirection (e.g., qhull < data.txt), a pipe (e.g., rbox 10 | qhull), or the 'TI' option (e.g., qhull TI data.txt).

Comments start with a non-numeric character. Error reporting is simpler if there is one point per line. Dimension and number of points may be reversed. For halfspace intersection, an interior point may be prepended (see qhalf input).

Here is the input for computing the convex hull of the unit cube. The output is the normals, one per facet.

rbox c > data

3 RBOX c
8
  -0.5   -0.5   -0.5
  -0.5   -0.5    0.5
  -0.5    0.5   -0.5
  -0.5    0.5    0.5
   0.5   -0.5   -0.5
   0.5   -0.5    0.5
   0.5    0.5   -0.5
   0.5    0.5    0.5

qhull s n < data


Convex hull of 8 points in 3-d:

  Number of vertices: 8
  Number of facets: 6
  Number of non-simplicial facets: 6

Statistics for: RBOX c | QHULL s n

  Number of points processed: 8
  Number of hyperplanes created: 11
  Number of distance tests for qhull: 35
  Number of merged facets: 6
  Number of distance tests for merging: 84
  CPU seconds to compute hull (after input): 0.081

4
6
     0      0     -1   -0.5
     0     -1      0   -0.5
     1      0      0   -0.5
    -1      0      0   -0.5
     0      1      0   -0.5
     0      0      1   -0.5

qhull outputs

These options control the output of qhull. They may be used individually or together.

 
General
qhull d
compute the Delaunay triangulation by lifting the points to a paraboloid. See qdelaunay.
qhull v
compute the Voronoi diagram by computing the Delaunay triangulation. See qvoronoi.
qhull H
compute the halfspace intersection about a point via polar duality. See qhalf.

For a full list of output options see

qhull controls

For a full list of control options see

qhull options

qhull- compute convex hulls and related structures.
    http://www.geom.umn.edu/software/qhull 

input (stdin):
    first lines: dimension and number of points (or vice-versa).
    other lines: point coordinates, best if one point per line
    comments:    start with a non-numeric character
    halfspaces:  use dim plus one and put offset after coefficients.
                 May be preceded by a single interior point ('H').

options:
    d    - Delaunay triangulation by lifting points to a paraboloid
    d Qu - furthest-site Delaunay triangulation (upper convex hull)
    v    - Voronoi diagram (dual of the Delaunay triangulation)
    v Qu - furthest-site Voronoi diagram
    Hn,n,... - halfspace intersection about point [n,n,0,...]
    Qt   - triangulated output
    QJ   - joggle input instead of merging facets
    Qc   - keep coplanar points with nearest facet
    Qi   - keep interior points with nearest facet

Qhull control options:
    Qbk:n   - scale coord k so that low bound is n
      QBk:n - scale coord k so that upper bound is n (QBk is 0.5)
    QbB  - scale input to unit cube centered at the origin
    Qbb  - scale last coordinate to [0,m] for Delaunay triangulations
    Qbk:0Bk:0 - remove k-th coordinate from input
    QJn  - randomly joggle input in range [-n,n]
    QRn  - random rotation (n=seed, n=0 time, n=-1 time/no rotate)
    Qf   - partition point to furthest outside facet
    Qg   - only build good facets (needs 'QGn', 'QVn', or 'PdD')
    Qm   - only process points that would increase max_outside
    Qr   - process random outside points instead of furthest ones
    Qs   - search all points for the initial simplex
    Qu   - for 'd' or 'v', compute upper hull without point at-infinity
              returns furthest-site Delaunay triangulation
    Qv   - test vertex neighbors for convexity
    Qx   - exact pre-merges (skips coplanar and anglomaniacs facets)
    Qz   - add point-at-infinity to Delaunay triangulation
    QGn  - good facet if visible from point n, -n for not visible
    QVn  - good facet if it includes point n, -n if not
    Q0   - turn off default p remerge with 'C-0'/'Qx'
    Q1	   - sort merges by type instead of angle
    Q2   - merge all non-convex at once instead of independent sets
    Q3   - do not merge redundant vertices
    Q4   - avoid old>new merges
    Q5   - do not correct outer planes at end of qhull
    Q6   - do not pre-merge concave or coplanar facets
    Q7   - depth-first processing instead of breadth-first
    Q8   - do not process near-inside points
    Q9   - process furthest of furthest points
    Q10  - no special processing for narrow distributions
	Q11  - copy normals and recompute centrums for tricoplanar facets

Towpaths Trace options:
    T4   - trace at level n, 4=all, 5=mem/gauss, -1= events
    Tc   - check frequently during execution
    Ts   - print statistics
    Tv   - verify result: structure, convexity, and point inclusion
    Tz   - send all output to stdout
    TFn  - report summary when n or more facets created
    TI file - input data from file, no spaces or single quotes
    TO file - output results to file, may be enclosed in single quotes
    TPn  - turn on tracing when point n added to hull
     TMn - turn on tracing at merge n
     TWn - trace merge facets when width > n
    TRn  - rerun qhull n times.  Use with 'QJn'
    TVn  - stop qhull after adding point n, -n for before (see TCn)
     TCn - stop qhull after building cone for point n (see TVn)

Precision options:
    Cn   - radius of centrum (roundoff added).  Merge facets if non-convex
     An  - cosine of maximum angle.  Merge facets if cosine > n or non-convex
           C-0 roundoff, A-0.99/C-0.01 pre-merge, A0.99/C0.01 post-merge
    En   - max roundoff error for distance computation
    Rn   - randomly perturb computations by a factor of [1-n,1+n]
    Vn   - min distance above plane for a visible facet (default 3C-n or En)
    Un   - max distance below plane for a new, coplanar point (default Vn)
    Wn   - min facet width for outside point (before roundoff, default 2Vn)

Output formats (may be combined; if none, produces a summary to stdout):
    f    - facet dump
    G    - Geomview output (see below)
    i    - vertices incident to each facet
    m    - Mathematica output (2-d and 3-d)
    o    - OFF format (dim, points and facets; Voronoi regions)
    n    - normals with offsets
    p    - vertex coordinates or Voronoi vertices (coplanar points if 'Qc')
    s    - summary (stderr)

More formats:
    Fa   - area for each facet
    FA   - compute total area and volume for option 's'
    Fc   - count plus coplanar points for each facet
           use 'Qc' (default) for coplanar and 'Qi' for interior
    FC   - centrum or Voronoi center for each facet
    Fd   - use cdd format for input (homogeneous with offset first)
    FD   - use cdd format for numeric output (offset first)
    FF   - facet dump without ridges
    Fi   - inner plane for each facet
           for 'v', separating hyperplanes for bounded Voronoi regions
    FI   - ID of each facet
    Fm   - merge count for each facet (511 max)
    Fn   - count plus neighboring facets for each facet
    FN   - count plus neighboring facets for each point
    Fo   - outer plane (or max_outside) for each facet
           for 'v', separating hyperplanes for unbounded Voronoi regions
    FO   - options and precision constants
    Fp   - dim, count, and intersection coordinates (halfspace only)
    FP   - nearest vertex and distance for each coplanar point
    FQ   - command used for qhull
    Fs   - summary: #int (8), dimension, #points, tot vertices, tot facets,
                      output: #vertices, #facets, #coplanars, #nonsimplicial
                    #real (2), max outer plane, min vertex
    FS   - sizes:   #int (0)
                    #real(2) tot area, tot volume
    Ft   - triangulation with centrums for non-simplicial facets (OFF format)
    Fv   - count plus vertices for each facet
           for 'v', Voronoi diagram as Voronoi vertices for pairs of sites
    FV   - average of vertices (a feasible point for 'H')
    Fx   - extreme points (in order for 2-d)

Geomview options (2-d, 3-d, and 4-d; 2-d Voronoi)
    Ga   - all points as dots
     Gp  -  coplanar points and vertices as radii
     Gv  -  vertices as spheres
    Gi   - inner planes only
     Gn  -  no planes
     Go  -  outer planes only
    Gc   - centrums
    Gh   - hyperplane intersections
    Gr   - ridges
    GDn  - drop dimension n in 3-d and 4-d output
    Gt   - for 3-d 'd', transparent outer ridges

Print options:
    PAn  - keep n largest facets by area
    Pdk:n - drop facet if normal[k] <= n (default 0.0)
    PDk:n - drop facet if normal[k] >= n
    Pg   - print good facets (needs 'QGn' or 'QVn')
    PFn  - keep facets whose area is at least n
    PG   - print neighbors of good facets
    PMn  - keep n facets with most merges
    Po   - force output.  If error, output neighborhood of facet
    Pp   - do not report precision problems

    .    - list of all options
    -    - one line descriptions of all options

Up: Home page for Qhull
Up: Qhull manual: Table of Contents
To: ProgramsOptionsOutputFormatsGeomviewPrintQhullPrecisionTrace
To: synopsis • input • outputs • controls • options


The Geometry Center Home Page

Comments to: qhull@geom.umn.edu
Created: Sept. 25, 1995 --- Last modified: see top