As an alternative, we may use a global procedure to grid our data.
This approach, implemented in the program surface, represents
an improvement over standard minimum curvature algorithms by allowing
users to introduce some tension into the surface.
Physically, we are trying to force a thin elastic plate to go through
all our data points; the values of this surface at the grid points
become the gridded data. Mathematically, we want to find the function
that satisfies the following constraints:
where is the ``tension'', . Basically, as we obtain the minimum curvature solution, while as we go towards a harmonic solution (which is linear in cross-section). The theory behind all this is quite involved and we do not have the time to explain it all here, please see Smith and Wessel  for details. Some of the most important switches for this program are indicated in Table 3.33.1.