Octrees: Construction, representation, and manipulation

Homer H. Chen, Thomas S. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The octree representation of three-dimensional objects is a generalization of the two-dimensional quadtree. It is a hierarchical representation based on the principle of recursive subdivision. The major features of the octree representation are that it is a hierarchical data structure, objects are kept in a spatially pre-sorted order at all time, and it has spatial addressability. Many operations performed on octrees can be easily implemented as tree traversals. These special features make octree representation very attractive in many applications such as solid modeling, computer graphics, computer-aided design/manufacturing, computer vision, robotics, space planning, and medical imaging. This paper surveys the recent advances made in the construction, representation, and manipulation of the octree representation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-458
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 11 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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