Recent developments in such fields as computer aided geometric design, geometric modeling, and computational topology have generated a spate of interest towards geometric objects called swept volumes. Besides their great applicability in various practical areas, the mere geometry and topology of these entities make them a perfect testbed for novel approaches aimed at analyzing and representing geometric objects. The structure of swept volumes reveals that it is also important to focus on a little simpler, although a very similar type of objects - swept manifolds. In particular, effective computability of swept manifold intersections is of major concern.
The main goal of this dissertation is to conduct a study of swept manifolds and, based on the findings, develop methods for computing swept surface intersections. The twofold nature of this goal prompted a division of the work into two distinct parts. At first, a theoretical analysis of swept manifolds is performed, providing a better insight into the topological structure of swept manifolds and unveiling several important properties. In the course of the investigation, several subclasses of swept manifolds are introduced; in particular, attention is focused on regular and critical swept manifolds. Because of the high applicability, additional effort is put into analysis of two-dimensional swept manifolds - swept surfaces. Some of the valuable properties exhibited by such surfaces are generalized to higher dimensions by introducing yet another class of swept manifolds - recursive swept manifolds.
In the second part of this work, algorithms for finding swept surface intersections are developed. The need for such algorithms is necessitated by a specific structure of swept surfaces that precludes direct employment of existing intersection methods. The new algorithms are designed by utilizing the underlying ideas of existing intersection techniques and making necessary technical modifications. Such modifications are achieved by employing properties of swept surfaces obtained in the course of the theoretical study.
The intersection problems is also considered from a little different prospective. A novel, homology based approach to local characterization of intersections of submanifolds and s-subvarieties of a Euclidean space is presented. It provides a method for distinguishing between transverse and tangential intersection points and determining, in some cases, whether the intersection point belongs to a boundary.
At the end, several possible applications of the obtained results are described, including virtual sculpting and modeling of heterogeneous materials.