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Scalar-vector algorithm for the roots of quadratic quaternion polynomials, and the characterization of quintic rational rotation-minimizing frame curves


The scalar-vector representation is used to derive a simple algorithm to obtain the roots of a quadratic quaternion polynomial. Apart from the familiar vector dot and cross products, this algorithm requires only the determination of the unique positive real root of a cubic equation, and special cases (e.g., double roots) are easily identified through the satisfaction of algebraic constraints on the scalar/vector parts of the coefficients. The algorithm is illustrated by computed examples, and used to analyze the root structure of quadratic quaternion polynomials that generate quintic curves with rational rotation-minimizing frames (RRMF curves). The degenerate (i.e., linear or planar) quintic RRMF curves correspond to the case of a double root. For polynomials with distinct roots, generating non-planar RRMF curves, the cubic always factors into linear and quadratic terms, and a closed-form expression for the quaternion roots in terms of a real variable, a unit vector, a uniform scale factor, and a real parameter τ. ∈. [-. 1, +. 1] is derived. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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