Authors: Rui Xiang, Rongjie Lai, Hongkai Zhao Description: In this work, we introduce a novel local pairwise descriptor and then develop a simple, effective iterative method to solve the resulting quadratic assignment through sparsity control for shape correspondence between two approximate isometric surfaces. Our pairwise descriptor is based on the stiffness and mass matrix of finite element approximation of the Laplace-Beltrami differential operator, which is local in space, sparse to represent, and extremely easy to compute while containing global information. It allows us to deal with open surfaces, partial matching, and topological perturbations robustly. To solve the resulting quadratic assignment problem efficiently, the two key ideas of our iterative algorithm are: 1) select pairs with good (approximate) correspondence as anchor points, 2) solve a regularized quadratic assignment problem only in the neighborhood of selected anchor points through sparsity control. These two ingredients can improve and increase the number of anchor points quickly while reducing the computation cost in each quadratic assignment iteration significantly. With enough high-quality anchor points, one may use various pointwise global features with reference to these anchor points to further improve the dense shape correspondence. We use various experiments to show the efficiency, quality, and versatility of our method on large data sets, patches, and point clouds (without global meshes).