We introduce and study a variant of the Wasserstein distance on the space of probability measures, specially designed to deal with measures whose support has a dendritic, or tree-like structure with a particular direction of orientation. Our motivation is the comparison of and interpolation between plants’ root systems. We characterize barycenters with respect to this metric, and establish that the interpolations of root-like measures, using this new metric, are also root-like, in a certain sense; this property fails for conventional Wasserstein barycenters. We also establish geodesic convexity with respect to this metric for a variety of functionals, some of which we expect to have biological importance.
"Optimal transport and barycenters for dendritic measures." Pure Appl. Anal. 2 (3) 581 - 601, 2020. https://doi.org/10.2140/paa.2020.2.581