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Lecture# Distance and geodesics: Distance, geodesics and complete manifolds

Description

This lecture covers the concept of distance induced by the Riemannian metric on manifolds, defining it as the length of smooth curve segments. It explains how this distance defines a metric space when the manifold is connected, and how geodesics are minimizing curves between points.

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In course

In MOOC

MATH-512: Optimization on manifolds

We develop, analyze and implement numerical algorithms to solve optimization problems of the form: min f(x) where x is a point on a smooth manifold. To this end, we first study differential and Rieman

Instructor

Introduction to optimization on smooth manifolds: first order methods

Learn to optimize on smooth, nonlinear spaces: Join us to build your foundations (starting at "what is a manifold?") and confidently implement your first algorithm (Riemannian gradient descent).

Related concepts (33)

Pseudo-Riemannian manifold

In differential geometry, a pseudo-Riemannian manifold, also called a semi-Riemannian manifold, is a differentiable manifold with a metric tensor that is everywhere nondegenerate. This is a generalization of a Riemannian manifold in which the requirement of positive-definiteness is relaxed. Every tangent space of a pseudo-Riemannian manifold is a pseudo-Euclidean vector space. A special case used in general relativity is a four-dimensional Lorentzian manifold for modeling spacetime, where tangent vectors can be classified as timelike, null, and spacelike.

Manifold

In mathematics, a manifold is a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space near each point. More precisely, an -dimensional manifold, or -manifold for short, is a topological space with the property that each point has a neighborhood that is homeomorphic to an open subset of -dimensional Euclidean space. One-dimensional manifolds include lines and circles, but not lemniscates. Two-dimensional manifolds are also called surfaces. Examples include the plane, the sphere, and the torus, and also the Klein bottle and real projective plane.

Differentiable manifold

In mathematics, a differentiable manifold (also differential manifold) is a type of manifold that is locally similar enough to a vector space to allow one to apply calculus. Any manifold can be described by a collection of charts (atlas). One may then apply ideas from calculus while working within the individual charts, since each chart lies within a vector space to which the usual rules of calculus apply. If the charts are suitably compatible (namely, the transition from one chart to another is differentiable), then computations done in one chart are valid in any other differentiable chart.

Complete metric space

In mathematical analysis, a metric space M is called complete (or a Cauchy space) if every Cauchy sequence of points in M has a limit that is also in M. Intuitively, a space is complete if there are no "points missing" from it (inside or at the boundary). For instance, the set of rational numbers is not complete, because e.g. is "missing" from it, even though one can construct a Cauchy sequence of rational numbers that converges to it (see further examples below).

Riemannian geometry

Riemannian geometry is the branch of differential geometry that studies Riemannian manifolds, defined as smooth manifolds with a Riemannian metric (an inner product on the tangent space at each point that varies smoothly from point to point). This gives, in particular, local notions of angle, length of curves, surface area and volume. From those, some other global quantities can be derived by integrating local contributions.