Spline (mathematics)

Spline (mathematics)

In mathematics, a spline is a sufficiently smooth polynomial function that is piecewise-defined, and possesses a high degree of smoothness at the places where the polynomial pieces connect (which are known as knots).

In interpolating problems, spline interpolation is often referred to as polynomial interpolation because it yields similar results, even when using low-degree polynomials, while avoiding Runge's phenomenon for higher degrees. In computer graphics splines are popular curves because of the simplicity of their construction, their ease and accuracy of evaluation, and their capacity to approximate complex shapes through curve fitting and interactive curve design.

The most commonly used splines are cubic spline, i.e., of order 3—in particular, cubic B-spline and cubic Bézier spline. They are common, in particular, in spline interpolation simulating the function of flat splines.

The term spline is derived from a flexible strip of metal commonly used by draftsmen to assist in drawing curved lines.

Read more about Spline (mathematics):  Definition, Derivation of A Cubic Spline Interpolating Between Points, Examples, History