This paper discusses the use of geometric approach to classify different types of trash (non-lint, non-fiber material) in ginned cotton. Pieces of trash can have complicated shapes, so we would like to find a good approximating family of sets. Which approximating family is the best? We reduce the corresponding optimization problem to a geometric one: namely, we show that, under some reasonable conditions, an optimal family must be shift-, rotation- and scale-invariant. We then use this geometric reduction to conclude that the best approximating low-dimensional families consist of sets with linear or circular boundaries.
This result is in good agreement with the existing empirical classification of trash into bark1, bark2, leaf, and pepper trash.