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Parallelly Sliced Optimal Transport on Spheres and on the Rotation Group

Michael QuellmalzL\'eo BuecherGabriele Steidl
Jan 2024
Sliced optimal transport, which is basically a Radon transform followed by one-dimensional optimal transport, became popular in various applications due to its efficient computation. In this paper, we deal with sliced optimal transport on the sphere $\mathbb{S}^{d-1}$ and on the rotation group SO(3). We propose a parallel slicing procedure of the sphere which requires again only optimal transforms on the line. We analyze the properties of the corresponding parallelly sliced optimal transport, which provides in particular a rotationally invariant metric on the spherical probability measures. For SO(3), we introduce a new two-dimensional Radon transform and develop its singular value decomposition. Based on this, we propose a sliced optimal transport on SO(3). As Wasserstein distances were extensively used in barycenter computations, we derive algorithms to compute the barycenters with respect to our new sliced Wasserstein distances and provide synthetic numerical examples on the 2-sphere that demonstrate their behavior both the free and fixed support setting of discrete spherical measures. In terms of computational speed, they outperform the existing methods for semicircular slicing as well as the regularized Wasserstein barycenters.
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