Parallel Computation of Persistent Homology using the Blowup Complex

Ryan Lewis, Dmitriy Morozov.
Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Parallelism in Algorithms and Architectures, pages 323-331, 2015.
We describe a parallel algorithm that computes persistent homology, an algebraic descriptor of a filtered topological space. Our algorithm is distinguished by operating on a spatial decomposition of the domain, as opposed to a decomposition with respect to the filtration. We rely on a classical construction, called the Mayer–Vietoris blowup complex, to glue global topological information about a space from its disjoint subsets. We introduce an efficient algorithm to perform this gluing operation, which may be of independent interest, and describe how to process the domain hierarchically. We report on a set of experiments that help assess the strengths and identify the limitations of our method.