Inserted: 13 sep 2016
Last Updated: 13 sep 2016
We show that the theory of varifolds can be suitably enriched to open the way to applications in the field of discrete and computational geometry. Using appropriate regularizations of the mass and of the first variation of a varifold we introduce the notion of approximate mean curvature and show various convergence results that hold in particular for sequences of discrete varifolds associated with point clouds or pixel or voxel-type discretizations of $d$-surfaces in the Euclidean $n$-space, without restrictions on dimension and codimension. The variational nature of the approach also allows to consider surfaces with singularities, and in that case the approximate mean curvature is consistent with the generalized mean curvature of the limit surface. A series of numerical tests are provided in order to illustrate the effectiveness and generality of the method.