Pretty much the title, given a closed curve in 2D, defined by a set of points, and a point. What's the algorithm to calculate the winding number of that curve, point pair?


1 Answer 1


Winding number as in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winding_number?

Unless I'm mistaken, one way is to fire, say, a horizontal 'ray' out from your point towards, say, $+\infty$. Each time you cross an edge, $(V_n V_{n+1})$ that is going up (i.e.$V_n[y] <V_{n+1}[y]$) , increment a counter, and decrement if the edge is going down.

The special cases of horizontal edges and vertices that lie on the ray are left as a (not too difficult) exercise for the reader.

If you want to do it quickly/approximately with a graphics API, you can use stencil buffers.


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