ResearchPad - geometry https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Mesh smoothing algorithm based on exterior angles split]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13823 Since meshes of poor quality give rise to low accuracy in finite element analysis and kinds of inconveniences in many other applications, mesh smoothing is widely used as an essential technique for the improvement of mesh quality. With respect to this issue, the main contribution of this paper is that a novel mesh smoothing method based on an exterior-angle-split process is proposed. The proposed method contains three main stages: the first stage is independent element geometric transformation performed by exterior-angle-split operations, treating elements unconnected; the second stage is to offset scaling and displacement induced by element transformation; the third stage is to determine the final positions of nodes with a weighted strategy. Theoretical proof describes the regularity of this method and many numerical experiments illustrate its convergence. Not only is this method applicable for triangular mesh, but also can be naturally extended to arbitrary polygonal surface mesh. Quality improvements of demonstrations on triangular and quadrilateral meshes show the effectiveness of this method.

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<![CDATA[Multipurpose chemical liquid sensing applications by microwave approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7700 In this work, a novel sensor based on printed circuit board (PCB) microstrip rectangular patch antenna is proposed to detect different ratios of ethanol alcohol in wines and isopropyl alcohol in disinfectants. The proposed sensor was designed by finite integration technique (FIT) based high-frequency electromagnetic solver (CST) and was fabricated by Proto Mat E33 machine. To implement the numerical investigations, dielectric properties of the samples were first measured by a dielectric probe kit then uploaded into the simulation program. Results showed a linear shifting in the resonant frequency of the sensor when the dielectric constant of the samples were changed due to different concentrations of ethanol alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. A good agreement was observed between the calculated and measured results, emphasizing the usability of dielectric behavior as an input sensing agent. It was concluded that the proposed sensor is viable for multipurpose chemical sensing applications.

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<![CDATA[The applicability of recreation-grade GNSS receiver (GPS watch, Suunto Ambit Peak 3) in a forested and an open area compared to a mapping-grade receiver (Trimble Juno T41)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8984bd8b-66a6-4b6e-8af7-92a53859b107

Due to developments in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and the miniaturization of their components, the usage of Global Positioning System (GPS) is no longer restricted to professional applications, but has become available in various consumer type devices, such as wristwatches. These commercial devices, however, were primarily designed for tracking activities in predominately urban settings and their accuracy has not been tested in forested areas. In this study, we present an assessment of the positional accuracy of a GPS watch (Ambit Peak 3, Suunto, Finland) under different forest cover types, seasons and meteorological conditions within the Whitehall Forest GPS Test Site located in Athens, Georgia, USA. As a standard of comparison, the performance of the GPS watch measurements was juxtaposed to that of a mapping-grade receiver (Juno T41, Trimble Inc., USA). In this study, we analyzed the differences between the determined and control positions using root-mean-square-error (RMSE), along with the distribution of observed positions through the standard deviational ellipse. The results suggest that the seasonal variations contributed to a statistically significant impact on the RMSE values for the GPS watch. However, there were no statistically significant differences in horizontal position accuracy by forest cover-type when using the GPS watch. Furthermore, no significant differences were found in horizontal position accuracy during the leaf-off period between the RMSE values for the GPS watch and those of the mapping-grade receiver. Lastly, the positional accuracies for both types of receivers were found to be weakly, but significantly correlated with fluctuations in air temperature and absolute humidity.

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<![CDATA[Analysis on hydraulic characteristics of improved sandy soil with soft rock]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N42f3b4c1-ffad-4b27-9297-98b538f1063a

Hydraulic properties of sandy soil from the Mu Us sandy land of Shaanxi Province were analyzed by using SEM technology. Soil porosity, the water characteristic curve, and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of aeolian sandy soil with added soft rock were analyzed, and fractal characteristics were established. Soil hydraulic properties revealed the effect of soft rock application on soil structure and hydraulic properties. Mass ratios of soft rock to aeolian sand were 1:5, 1:2, and 1:1. Results showed that the addition of soft rock can significantly increase the bulk density of sandy soil and reduce the total porosity and macroporosity. The mass fraction of water-stable aggregates greater than 0.25mm increases significantly, increasing the fractal dimension of soil pores; reducing the soil saturated water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity. SEM technology and pore fractal theory were used to predict the soil salinity curve and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of the improved saline soil.

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<![CDATA[Adaptive multi-degree of freedom Brain Computer Interface using online feedback: Towards novel methods and metrics of mutual adaptation between humans and machines for BCI]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89771ad5eed0c4847d2469

This paper proposes a novel adaptive online-feedback methodology for Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). The method uses ElectroEncephaloGraphic (EEG) signals and combines motor with speech imagery to allow for tasks that involve multiple degrees of freedom (DoF). The main approach utilizes the covariance matrix descriptor as feature, and the Relevance Vector Machines (RVM) classifier. The novel contributions include, (1) a new method to select representative data to update the RVM model, and (2) an online classifier which is an adaptively-weighted mixture of RVM models to account for the users’ exploration and exploitation processes during the learning phase. Instead of evaluating the subjects’ performance solely based on the conventional metric of accuracy, we analyze their skill’s improvement based on 3 other criteria, namely the confusion matrix’s quality, the separability of the data, and their instability. After collecting calibration data for 8 minutes in the first run, 8 participants were able to control the system while receiving visual feedback in the subsequent runs. We observed significant improvement in all subjects, including two of them who fell into the BCI illiteracy category. Our proposed BCI system complements the existing approaches in several aspects. First, the co-adaptation paradigm not only adapts the classifiers, but also allows the users to actively discover their own way to use the BCI through their exploration and exploitation processes. Furthermore, the auto-calibrating system can be used immediately with a minimal calibration time. Finally, this is the first work to combine motor and speech imagery in an online feedback experiment to provide multiple DoF for BCI control applications.

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<![CDATA[Structure and variability of delay activity in premotor cortex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c990204d5eed0c484b9749c

Voluntary movements are widely considered to be planned before they are executed. Recent studies have hypothesized that neural activity in motor cortex during preparation acts as an ‘initial condition’ which seeds the proceeding neural dynamics. Here, we studied these initial conditions in detail by investigating 1) the organization of neural states for different reaches and 2) the variance of these neural states from trial to trial. We examined population-level responses in macaque premotor cortex (PMd) during the preparatory stage of an instructed-delay center-out reaching task with dense target configurations. We found that after target onset the neural activity on single trials converges to neural states that have a clear low-dimensional structure which is organized by both the reach endpoint and maximum speed of the following reach. Further, we found that variability of the neural states during preparation resembles the spatial variability of reaches made in the absence of visual feedback: there is less variability in direction than distance in neural state space. We also used offline decoding to understand the implications of this neural population structure for brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). We found that decoding of angle between reaches is dependent on reach distance, while decoding of arc-length is independent. Thus, it might be more appropriate to quantify decoding performance for discrete BMIs by using arc-length between reach end-points rather than the angle between them. Lastly, we show that in contrast to the common notion that direction can better be decoded than distance, their decoding capabilities are comparable. These results provide new insights into the dynamical neural processes that underline motor control and can inform the design of BMIs.

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<![CDATA[In-silico pre-clinical trials are made possible by a new simple and comprehensive lumbar belt mechanical model based on the Law of Laplace including support deformation and adhesion effects]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89779ad5eed0c4847d3130

Lower back pain is a major public health problem. Despite claims that lumbar belts change spinal posture due to applied pressure on the trunk, no mechanical model has yet been published to prove this treatment. This paper describes a first model for belt design, based on the one hand on the mechanical properties of the fabrics and the belt geometry, and on the other hand on the trunk geometrical and mechanical description. The model provides the estimation of the pressure applied to the trunk, and a unique indicator of the belt mechanical efficiency is proposed: pressure is integrated into a bending moment characterizing the belt delordosing action on the spine. A first in-silico clinical study of belt efficiency for 15 patients with 2 different belts was conducted. Results are very dependent on the body shape: in the case of high BMI patients, the belt effect is significantly decreased, and can be even inverted, increasing the lordosis. The belt stiffness proportionally increases the pressure applied to the trunk, but the influence of the design itself on the bending moment is clearly outlined. Moreover, the belt/trunk interaction, modeled as sticking contact and the specific way patients lock their belts, dramatically modifies the belt action. Finally, even if further developments and tests are still necessary, the model presented in this paper seems suitable for in-silico pre-clinical trials on real body shapes at a design stage.

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<![CDATA[Advances in geometric techniques for analyzing blebbing in chemotaxing Dictyostelium cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1522d5eed0c48467ae3b

We present a technical platform that allows us to monitor and measure cortex and membrane dynamics during bleb-based chemotaxis. Using D. discoideum cells expressing LifeAct-GFP and crawling under agarose containing RITC-dextran, we were able to simultaneously visualize the actin cortex and the cell membrane throughout bleb formation. Using these images, we then applied edge detect to generate points on the cell boundary with coordinates in a coordinate plane. Then we fitted these points to a curve with known x and y coordinate functions. The result was to parameterize the cell outline. With the parameterization, we demonstrate how to compute data for geometric features such as cell area, bleb area and edge curvature. This allows us to collect vital data for the analysis of blebbing.

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<![CDATA[Security analysis of elliptic curves with embedding degree 1 proposed in PLOS ONE 2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac88d5eed0c484d089b5

Wang et al. proposed a method for obtaining elliptic curves with embedding degree 1 for securing critical infrastructures, and presented several elliptic curves generated by their method with torsion points of 160 bits and 189 bits orders. They also presented some experimental results and claimed that their implementation of an elliptic curve generated with their method is faster than an implementation for embedded devices presented by Bertoni et al. In this paper, we point out that the security and efficiency claims given by Wang et al. are flawed. Specifically, we show that it is possible to solve finite field discrete logarithm problems defined over their elliptic curves in practice. On the elliptic curves with torsion points of 160 bits orders generated by Wang et al., their instances of finite field discrete logarithm problems are solved in around 4 hours by using a standard desktop PC. On the torsion points of 189 bits orders, their instances are solved in around 10 days by using two standard desktop PCs. The hardness of the finite field discrete logarithm problems is one of the most important bases of security; therefore, their elliptic curves should not be used for cryptographic purposes.

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<![CDATA[Automated localization and quality control of the aorta in cine CMR can significantly accelerate processing of the UK Biobank population data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f151bd5eed0c48467adda

Introduction

Aortic distensibility can be calculated using semi-automated methods to segment the aortic lumen on cine CMR (Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance) images. However, these methods require visual quality control and manual localization of the region of interest (ROI) of ascending (AA) and proximal descending (PDA) aorta, which limit the analysis in large-scale population-based studies. Using 5100 scans from UK Biobank, this study sought to develop and validate a fully automated method to 1) detect and locate the ROIs of AA and PDA, and 2) provide a quality control mechanism.

Methods

The automated AA and PDA detection-localization algorithm followed these steps: 1) foreground segmentation; 2) detection of candidate ROIs by Circular Hough Transform (CHT); 3) spatial, histogram and shape feature extraction for candidate ROIs; 4) AA and PDA detection using Random Forest (RF); 5) quality control based on RF detection probability. To provide the ground truth, overall image quality (IQ = 0–3 from poor to good) and aortic locations were visually assessed by 13 observers. The automated algorithm was trained on 1200 scans and Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) was used to calculate the agreement between ground truth and automatically detected ROIs.

Results

The automated algorithm was tested on 3900 scans. Detection accuracy was 99.4% for AA and 99.8% for PDA. Aorta localization showed excellent agreement with the ground truth, with DSC ≥ 0.9 in 94.8% of AA (DSC = 0.97 ± 0.04) and 99.5% of PDA cases (DSC = 0.98 ± 0.03). AA×PDA detection probabilities could discriminate scans with IQ ≥ 1 from those severely corrupted by artefacts (AUC = 90.6%). If scans with detection probability < 0.75 were excluded (350 scans), the algorithm was able to correctly detect and localize AA and PDA in all the remaining 3550 scans (100% accuracy).

Conclusion

The proposed method for automated AA and PDA localization was extremely accurate and the automatically derived detection probabilities provided a robust mechanism to detect low quality scans for further human review. Applying the proposed localization and quality control techniques promises at least a ten-fold reduction in human involvement without sacrificing any accuracy.

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<![CDATA[Multifractality of posture modulates multisensory perception of stand-on-ability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7582d5eed0c4843cfe31

By definition, perception is a multisensory process that unfolds in time as a complex sequence of exploratory activities of the organism. In such a system perception and action are integrated, and multiple energy arrays are available simultaneously. Perception of affordances interweaves sensory and motor activities into meaningful behavior given task constraints. The present contribution offers insight into the manner in which perception and action usher the organism through competent functional apprehension of its surroundings. We propose that the tensegrity structure of the body, manifested via multifractality of exploratory bodily movements informs perception of affordances. The affordance of stand-on-ability of ground surfaces served as the experimental paradigm. Observers viewed a surface set to a discrete angle and attempted to match it haptically with a continuously adjustable surface occluded by a curtain, or felt an occluded surface set to a discrete angle then matched it visually with a continuously adjustable visible surface. The complex intertwining of perception and action was demonstrated by the interactions of multifractality of postural sway with multiple energy arrays, responses, and changing geometric task demands.

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<![CDATA[A simple approximation algorithm for the diameter of a set of points in an Euclidean plane]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c673069d5eed0c484f37a9c

Approximation algorithms with linear complexities are required in the treatments of big data, however, present algorithms cannot output the diameter of a set of points with arbitrary accuracy and near-linear complexity. By introducing the partition technique, we introduce a very simple approximation algorithm with arbitrary accuracy ε and a complexity of O(N + ε−1 log ε−1) for the cases that all points are located in an Euclidean plane. The error bounds are proved strictly, and are verified by numerical tests. This complexity is better than existing algorithms, and the present algorithm is also very simple to be implemented in applications.

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<![CDATA[Coding of low-level position and orientation information in human naturalistic vision]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b266cd5eed0c484289a44

Orientation and position of small image segments are considered to be two fundamental low-level attributes in early visual processing, yet their encoding in complex natural stimuli is underexplored. By measuring the just-noticeable differences in noise perturbation, we investigated how orientation and position information of a large number of local elements (Gabors) were encoded separately or jointly. Importantly, the Gabors composed various classes of naturalistic stimuli that were equated by all low-level attributes and differed only in their higher-order configural complexity and familiarity. Although unable to consciously tell apart the type of perturbation, observers detected orientation and position noise significantly differently. Furthermore, when the Gabors were perturbed by both types of noise simultaneously, performance adhered to a reliability-based optimal probabilistic combination of individual attribute noises. Our results suggest that orientation and position are independently coded and probabilistically combined for naturalistic stimuli at the earliest stage of visual processing.

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<![CDATA[Inferring statistical properties of 3D cell geometry from 2D slices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df30ad5eed0c484580bba

Although cell shape can reflect the mechanical and biochemical properties of the cell and its environment, quantification of 3D cell shapes within 3D tissues remains difficult, typically requiring digital reconstruction from a stack of 2D images. We investigate a simple alternative technique to extract information about the 3D shapes of cells in a tissue; this technique connects the ensemble of 3D shapes in the tissue with the distribution of 2D shapes observed in independent 2D slices. Using cell vertex model geometries, we find that the distribution of 2D shapes allows clear determination of the mean value of a 3D shape index. We analyze the errors that may arise in practice in the estimation of the mean 3D shape index from 2D imagery and find that typically only a few dozen cells in 2D imagery are required to reduce uncertainty below 2%. Even though we developed the method for isotropic animal tissues, we demonstrate it on an anisotropic plant tissue. This framework could also be naturally extended to estimate additional 3D geometric features and quantify their uncertainty in other materials.

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<![CDATA[Demand and supply factors of iron-folic acid supplementation and its association with anaemia in North Indian pregnant women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b529cd5eed0c4842bcc9d

Anaemia prevalence in pregnant women of India declined from 57.9% to 50.3% from National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-3 to NFHS-4. However, over the course of that decade, the uptake of iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation for 100 days of pregnancy improved by only 15%. To understand demand side risk factors of anaemia specifically related to IFA intake, an in-depth survey was conducted on pregnant women (n = 436) in 50 villages and wards of Sirohi district of Rajasthan, India. At the demand side, consistent IFA consumption in the previous trimester was inversely and strongly associated with anaemia (OR: 0.26, 95% CI: 0.12, 0.55). Reasons for inconsistent consumption included not registering to antenatal clinic, not receiving IFA tablets from the health worker and perceived lack of need. At the supply side, an analysis of IFA stock data at various levels of the health care (n = 168) providers from primary to tertiary levels showed that 14 out of 52 villages surveyed did not have access to IFA tablets. The closest availability of an IFA tablet for 16 villages, was more than 5 km away. To improve the uptake of IFA supplementation and thereby reduce iron deficiency anaemia in pregnant women, a constant supply of IFA at the village or sub-centre level, where frontline workers can promote uptake, should be ensured.

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<![CDATA[Dissecting the pathways coordinating patterning and growth by plant boundary domains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536af0d5eed0c484a47c21

Boundary domains play important roles during morphogenesis in plants and animals, but how they contribute to patterning and growth coordination in plants is not understood. The CUC genes determine the boundary domains in the aerial part of the plants and, in particular, they have a conserved role in regulating leaf complexity across Angiosperms. Here, we used tooth formation at the Arabidopsis leaf margin controlled by the CUC2 transcription factor to untangle intertwined events during boundary-controlled morphogenesis in plants. Combining conditional restoration of CUC2 function with morphometrics as well as quantification of gene expression and hormone signaling, we first established that tooth morphogenesis involves a patterning phase and a growth phase. These phases can be separated, as patterning requires CUC2 while growth can occur independently of CUC2. Next, we show that CUC2 acts as a trigger to promote growth through the activation of three functional relays. In particular, we show that KLUH acts downstream of CUC2 to modulate auxin response and that expressing KLUH can compensate for deficient CUC2 expression during tooth growth. Together, we reveal a genetic and molecular network that allows coordination of patterning and growth by CUC2-defined boundaries during morphogenesis at the leaf margin.

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<![CDATA[Dynamical analogues of rank distributions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e933d5eed0c48496f97e

We present an equivalence between stochastic and deterministic variable approaches to represent ranked data and find the expressions obtained to be suggestive of statistical-mechanical meanings. We first reproduce size-rank distributions N(k) from real data sets by straightforward considerations based on the assumed knowledge of the background probability distribution P(N) that generates samples of random variable values similar to real data. The choice of different functional expressions for P(N): power law, exponential, Gaussian, etc., leads to different classes of distributions N(k) for which we find examples in nature. Then we show that all of these types of functions can be alternatively obtained from deterministic dynamical systems. These correspond to one-dimensional nonlinear iterated maps near a tangent bifurcation whose trajectories are proved to be precise analogues of the N(k). We provide explicit expressions for the maps and their trajectories and find they operate under conditions of vanishing or small Lyapunov exponent, therefore at or near a transition to or out of chaos. We give explicit examples ranging from exponential to logarithmic behavior, including Zipf’s law. Adoption of the nonlinear map as the formalism central character is a useful viewpoint, as variation of its few parameters, that modify its tangency property, translate into the different classes for N(k).

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<![CDATA[Using supervised learning to select audit targets in performance-based financing in health: An example from Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59ff00d5eed0c4841358af

Independent verification is a critical component of performance-based financing (PBF) in health care, in which facilities are offered incentives to increase the volume of specific services but the same incentives may lead them to over-report. We examine alternative strategies for targeted sampling of health clinics for independent verification. Specifically, we empirically compare several methods of random sampling and predictive modeling on data from a Zambian PBF pilot that contains reported and verified performance for quantity indicators of 140 clinics. Our results indicate that machine learning methods, particularly Random Forest, outperform other approaches and can increase the cost-effectiveness of verification activities.

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<![CDATA[High-resolution imagery acquired from an unmanned platform to estimate biophysical and geometrical parameters of olive trees under different irrigation regimes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c493d5eed0c4845e895b

The experiments were conducted in a fully-productive olive orchard (cv. Frantoio) at the experimental farm of University of Pisa at Venturina (Italy) in 2015 to assess the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with RGB-NIR cameras to estimate leaf area index (LAI), tree height, canopy diameter and canopy volume of olive trees that were either irrigated or rainfed. Irrigated trees received water 4–5 days a week (1348 m3 ha-1), whereas the rainfed ones received a single irrigation of 19 m3 ha-1 to relieve the extreme stress. The flight altitude was 70 m above ground level (AGL), except for one flight (50 m AGL). The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated by means of the map algebra technique. Canopy volume, canopy height and diameter were obtained from the digital surface model (DSM) obtained through automatic aerial triangulation, bundle block adjustment and camera calibration methods. The NDVI estimated on the day of the year (DOY) 130 was linearly correlated with both LAI and leaf chlorophyll measured on the same date (R2 = 0.78 and 0.80, respectively). The correlation between the on ground measured canopy volumes and the ones by the UAV-RGB camera techniques yielded an R2 of 0.71–0.86. The monthly canopy volume increment estimated from UAV surveys between (DOY) 130 and 244 was highly correlated with the daily water stress integral of rainfed trees (R2 = 0.99). The effect of water stress on the seasonal pattern of canopy growth was detected by these techniques in correspondence of the maximum level of stress experienced by the rainfed trees. The highest level of accuracy (RMSE = 0.16 m) in canopy height estimation was obtained when the flight altitude was 50 m AGL, yielding an R2 value of 0.87 and an almost 1:1 ratio of measured versus estimated canopy height.

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<![CDATA[A quadratic trigonometric spline for curve modeling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f762d5eed0c48438600c

An imperative curve modeling technique has been established with a view to its applications in various disciplines of science, engineering and design. It is a new spline method using piecewise quadratic trigonometric functions. It possesses error bounds of order 3. The proposed curve model also owns the most favorable geometric properties. The proposed spline method accomplishes C2 smoothness and produces a Quadratic Trigonometric Spline (QTS) with the view to its applications in curve design and control. It produces a C2 quadratic trigonometric alternative to the traditional cubic polynomial spline (CPS) because of having four control points in its piecewise description. The comparison analysis of QTS and CPS verifies the QTS as better alternate to CPS. Also, the time analysis proves QTS computationally efficient than CPS.

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