Hyperconvex spaces, Gromov-Hausdorff type distances, and TDA

  • Sunhyuk Lim (MPI MiS, Leipzig)
E1 05 (Leibniz-Saal)


In the applied algebraic topology community, the persistent homology induced by the Vietoris-Rips simplicial filtration is a standard method for capturing topological information from metric spaces. In this presentation, we consider a different, more geometric way of generating persistent homology of metric spaces which arises by first embedding a given metric space into a larger space and then considering thickenings of the original space inside this ambient metric space. More precisely, we show that the standard persistent homology of the Vietoris-Rips filtration is isomorphic to our geometric persistent homology provided that the ambient metric space satisfies a property called infectivity (=hyperconvexity). This permits proving several bounds on the length of intervals in the Vietoris-Rips barcode by other metric invariants, for example the notion of spread introduced by M. Katz. As another application, we connect this geometric persistent homology to the notion of filling radius of manifolds introduced by Gromov and show some consequences related to (1) the homotopy type of the Vietoris-Rips complexes of spheres which follow from work of M. Katz, (2) characterization (rigidity) results for spheres in terms of their Vietoris-Rips persistence barcodes which follow from work of F. Wilhelm, and (3) some nontrivial lower bounds of Gromov-Hausdorff distance between model spaces via the stability lemma.

Mirke Olschewski

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