A Geometric Strategy Algorithm for Orthogonal Projection onto a Parametric Surface

Abstract
In this paper, we investigate how to compute the minimum distance between a point and a parametric surface, and then to return the nearest point (foot point) on the surface as well as its corresponding parameter, which is also called the point projection problem of a parametric surface. The geometric strategy algorithm (hereafter GSA) presented consists of two parts as follows. The normal curvature to a given parametric surface is used to find the corresponding foot point firstly, and then the Taylor's expansion of the parametric surface is employed to compute parameter increments and to get the iteration formula to calculate the orthogonal projection point of test point to the parametric surface. Our geometric strategy algorithm is essentially dependent on the geometric property of the normal curvature, and performs better than existing methods in two ways. Firstly, GSA converges faster than existing methods, such as the method to turn the problem into a rootfinding of nonlinear system, subdividing methods, clipping methods, geometric methods (tangent vector and geometric curvature) and hybrid secondorder method, etc. Specially, it converges faster than the classical Newton's iterative method. Secondly, GSA is independent of the initial iterative value, which we prove in Theorem 1. Many numerical examples confirm GSA's robustness and efficiency.

