#### Date of Original Version

9-16-2014

#### Type

Working Paper

#### Abstract or Description

We consider point clouds obtained as random samples of a measure on a Euclidean domain. A graph representing the point cloud is obtained by assigning weights to edges based on the distance between the points they connect. Our goal is to develop mathematical tools needed to study the consistency, as the number of available data points increases, of graph-based machine learning algorithms for tasks such as clustering. In particular, we study when is the cut capacity, and more generally total variation, on these graphs a good approximation of the perimeter (total variation) in the continuum setting. We address this question in the setting of Γ-convergence. We obtain almost optimal conditions on the scaling, as number of points increases, of the size of the neighborhood over which the points are connected by an edge for the Γ-convergence to hold. Taking the limit is enabled by a transportation based metric which allows to suitably compare functionals defined on different point clouds.