Image feature extraction and galaxy classification: a novel and efficient approach with automated machine learning
- Journal Article
In this work, we explore the possibility of applying machine learning methods designed for 1D problems to the task of galaxy image classification. The algorithms used for image classification typically rely on multiple costly steps, such as the point spread function deconvolution and the training and application of complex Convolutional Neural Networks of thousands or even millions of parameters. In our approach, we extract features from the galaxy images by analysing the elliptical isophotes in their light distribution and collect the information in a sequence. The sequences obtained with this method present definite features allowing a direct distinction between galaxy types. Then, we train and classify the sequences with machine learning algorithms, designed through the platform Modulos AutoML. As a demonstration of this method, we use the second public release of the Dark Energy Survey (DES DR2). We show that we are able to successfully distinguish between early-type and late-type galaxies, for images with signal-to-noise ratio greater than 300. This yields an accuracy of 86 per cent for the early-type galaxies and 93 per cent for the late-type galaxies, which is on par with most contemporary automated image classification approaches. The data dimensionality reduction of our novel method implies a significant lowering in computational cost of classification. In the perspective of future data sets obtained with e.g. Euclid and the Vera Rubin Observatory, this work represents a path towards using a well-tested and widely used platform from industry in efficiently tackling galaxy classification problems at the peta-byte scale. Show more
Journal / seriesMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Pages / Article No.
PublisherOxford University Press
Subjectmethods: data analysis; methods: observational; methods: statistical; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: structure; galaxies: formation
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