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Integrating Temporal and Spectral Features of Astronomical Data Using Wavelet Analysis for Source Classification

Abstract

Temporal and spectral information extracted from a stream of photons received from astronomical sources is the foundation on which we build understanding of various objects and processes in the Universe. Typically astronomers fit a number of models separately to light curves and spectra to extract relevant features. These features are then used to classify, identify, and understand the nature of the sources. However, these feature extraction methods may not be optimally sensitive to unknown properties of light curves and spectra. One can use the raw light curves and spectra as features to train classifiers, but this typically increases the dimensionality of the problem, often by several orders of magnitude. We overcome this problem by integrating light curves and spectra to create an abstract image and using wavelet analysis to extract important features from the image. Such features incorporate both temporal and spectral properties of the astronomical data. Classification is then performed on those abstract features. In order to demonstrate this technique, we have used gamma-ray burst (GRB) data from the NASA's Swift mission to classify GRBs into high- and low-redshift groups. Reliable selection of high-redshift GRBs is of considerable interest in astrophysics and cosmology.Comment: Accepted and Published in 2015 IEEE Applied Imagery Pattern Recognition Workshop (AIPR), Imaging: Earth and Beyond (Washington DC, October 13-15, 2015) Conference Proceeding

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