A method for the piecewise linear approximation of a plane curve is described. An approximate curve is obtained by choosing a certain number of points from a set of sampled points of the original curve. A "point choice function" that represents the relation between the original points and the chosen points is formulated. The approximation is performed by the dynamic programming principle searching for the optimal point choice function that attains the minimal error about arc length of the curve. Evaluation of the global approximate error provides efficient curve approximations, irrespective of shape complexity, number of sampled points, and irregularity of sampling interval. © 1992.
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