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We analyze an alternative to classical Zernike fitting based on the cubic B-spline model, and compare the strengths and weaknesses of each representation over a set of different wavefronts that cover a wide range of shape complexity. The results obtained show that a Zernike low-degree polynomial expansion or a cubic B-spline with a low number of breakpoints are the best choices for fitting simple wavefronts, whereas the cubic B-spline approach performs much better when more complex wavefrontsdoi:10.1364/ao.45.006954 pmid:16946771 fatcat:kyeb3sm3yjbwhnenbhdjfa2sb4