Thin-plate spline

These programs provide various types of statistical analyses using partial warp scores as shape variables and/or expressing the results of a morphometric analysis as a shape deformation. See also the comprehensive programs that also include these computations.

tpsSmall tpsSmall64 Test for "small" variation in shape. Windows. Use to test whether the variation in shape among a set of specimens is too large and thus statistical methods based on the tangent space approximation (e.g., thin-plate spline methods) cannot be used. The program can process both 2D and 3D data files. Output files include consensus and aligned specimens. tpssmalw64 requires 64 bit versions of Windows. By F. James Rohlf. Version 1.32. (Version 1.03 for Windows 3.1 is still available: [tpsSmall v1.03]:) 5/19/2015

Fit and visualize thin-plate splines on trees. Windows. Performs a least-squares orthogonal generalized Procrustes analysis to obtain a reference and then estimates the splines for each group (internal node) on a tree. Both ultrametric (e.g., WPGMA and UPGMA trees) and additive trees (using squared change parsimony to estimate the shapes of the HTUs) are supported. The estimated shapes can be visualized with estimated images in the background (see the tpsSuper program). The file expands into a Windows setup program and associated files. By F. James Rohlf. Version 1.21. File containing HTU coordinates and HTU images to demo that feature. The older and more limited 16 bit Windows version is still available.

tpsRegr Multivariate multiple regression of shape onto independent variables. Windows. performs a multivariate multiple regression of shape (as captured by partial warp scores and the uniform shape component) onto one or more independent variables. By appropriate setting up of independent variables, this program can perform various types of MANOVA and MANCOVA. Can be used to study allometry. By F. James Rohlf. Version 1.41. The old 16 bit version is still available but is more limited. The older DOS version is also available but does not support the new features of the Windows versions: [DOS version] [DOS DPMI version] DOS versions require the [BGI] Graphics drivers. 10/23/2014
tpsSplin Thin-plate spline. Windows. Program to compare pairs of specimens by displaying a D'arcy Thompson style transformation grid based on a thin-plate spline. Several options are given for sliding semilandmarks. The tpssplnw.exe file expands into a Windows setup program that will be run automatically. By F. James Rohlf. Version 1.20 This program replaces the [TPSPLINE] program (a DOS program with a limit of 40 landmarks and required the [BGI] Graphics drivers) and its DPMI version [TPSPLINEP] (with a limit of 60 landmarks). Readme. 4/14/2004
tpsRelw32 tpsRelw64

Relative warps analysis. Windows. Performs a relative warp analysis. This corresponds to a principal components analysis of variation in a sample (relative to bending energy if the alpha parameter is not equal to zero). Displays a plot of relative warp scores and a "visualization window" that displays the estimated shape for arbitrary points in the ordination. Also displays partial warp scores and their visualizations. Allows sliding of semilandmark points along curves to achieve a better fit (minimum bending energy or Procrustes distance). Subsets of landmarks can be selected. Plots ln(Var of PW) vs. ln(BE) for studies of integration. Version 1.58. By F. James Rohlf.

Version 1.11 for Windows 3.1 is still available: [tpsRelw v1.11] The DOS version is also still available but it does not support many of the new features in the Windows version: [TPSRW]. The DOS version requires the [BGI] Graphics drivers. 10/17/94. [TPSRWP] The DOS DPMI version of the TPSRW program whic can process larger datasets. 10/17/94. Readme file.

tpsPLS Partial least-squares analysis for shapes. Windows. Used to explore the covariance between a set of variables and variation in shape or between two shapes. It performs a two-block partial least-squares analysis. It differs from regression in that both variables and shape are considered equally (one is not considered to be a set of independent variables measured without error). Its use is described in Rohlf and Corti (2000, Systematic Biology, 49:740-753). By F. James Rohlf. Version 1.22. 10/23/2014
Edgewarp Thin-plane splines and related methods for 3D data. Linux and Mac OSX. Reads CT and other medical images in Dicom format and produces a grayscale volume which can be navigated and landmarked by the usual Edgewarp tools. Available from There are links to the software, documentation, and examples By Bill Green and Fred L. Bookstein. 9/13/2005



Thin-plate spline programs. DOS & Windows. An FTP directory containing the file SPLINE.ZIP that contains the programs JSPLINE and VECTOR. These compute thin-plate splines, principal and partial warps, etc, to compare two specimens. The VECTOR program displays principal and partial warps as vector diagrams. By Julian M. Humphries. 1/20/1994
VALSAIN Valsain workshop. MATLAB. Program to do a relative warp analyis. By Les Marcus. 8/9/1993

The shapes package is a set of procedures for statistical shape analysis in R. Includes functions for thin-plate spline transformation grids and other functions. Index file listing the main functions. By Ian Dryden. Version 1.0-7.


Last modified on October 30, 2011 by
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