Quad-dominant (QD) meshes, i.e., three-dimensional, 2-manifold polygonal meshes comprising mostly four-sided faces (i.e., quads), are a popular choice for many applications such as polygonal shape modeling, computer animation, base meshes for spline and subdivision surface, simulation, and architectural design. This thesis investigates the topic of connectivity control, i.e., exploring different choices of mesh connectivity to represent the same 3D shape or surface. One key concept of QD mesh connectivity is the distinction between regular and irregular elements: a vertex with valence 4 is regular; otherwise, it is irregular. In a similar sense, a face with four sides is regular; otherwise, it is irregular. For QD meshes, the placement of irregular elements is especially important since it largely determines the achievable geometric quality of the final mesh.
Traditionally, the research on QD meshes focuses on the automatic generation of pure quadrilateral or QD meshes from a given surface. Explicit control of the placement of irregular elements can only be achieved indirectly. To fill this gap, in this thesis, we make the following contributions. First, we formulate the theoretical background about the fundamental combinatorial properties of irregular elements in QD meshes. Second, we develop algorithms for the explicit control of irregular elements and the exhaustive enumeration of QD mesh connectivities. Finally, we demonstrate the importance of connectivity control for QD meshes in a wide range of applications.