Inserted: 27 aug 2018
Last Updated: 27 aug 2018
In this paper we study the class of optimal entropy-transport problems introduced by Liero, Mielke and Savare in Inventiones Mathematicae 211 in 2018. This class of unbalanced transport metrics allows for transport between measures of different total mass, unlike classical optimal transport where both measures must have the same total mass. In particular, we develop the theory for the important subclass of semi-discrete unbalanced transport problems, where one of the measures is diffuse (absolutely continuous with respect to the Lebesgue measure) and the other is discrete (a sum of Dirac masses). We characterize the optimal solutions and show they can be written in terms of generalized Laguerre diagrams. We use this to develop an efficient method for solving the semi-discrete unbalanced transport problem numerically. As an application we study the unbalanced quantization problem, where one looks for the best approximation of a diffuse measure by a discrete measure with respect to an unbalanced transport metric. We prove a type of crystallization result in two dimensions - optimality of the triangular lattice - and compute the asymptotic quantization error as the number of Dirac masses tends to infinity.