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Forging new worlds: high-resolution synthetic galaxies with chained generative adversarial networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Astronomy of the 21st century finds itself with extreme quantities of data, with most of it filtered out during capture to save on memory storage. This growth is ripe for modern technologies such as deep learning, as deep image processing techniques have the potential to allow astronomers to automatically identify, classify, segment and deblend various astronomical objects, and to aid in the calibration of shape measurements for weak lensing in cosmology through large datasets augmented with synthetic images. Since galaxies are a prime contender for such applications, we explore the use of generative adversarial networks (GANs), a class of generative models, to produce physically realistic galaxy images. By measuring the distributions of multiple physical properties, we show that images generated with our approach closely follow the distributions of real galaxies, further establishing state-of-the-art GAN architectures as a valuable tool for modern-day astronomy.


Enabling Dark Energy Science with Deep Generative Models of Galaxy Images

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Understanding the nature of dark energy, the mysterious force driving the accelerated expansion of the Universe, is a major challenge of modern cosmology. The next generation of cosmological surveys, specifically designed to address this issue, rely on accurate measurements of the apparent shapes of distant galaxies. However, shape measurement methods suffer from various unavoidable biases and therefore will rely on a precise calibration to meet the accuracy requirements of the science analysis. This calibration process remains an open challenge as it requires large sets of high quality galaxy images. To this end, we study the application of deep conditional generative models in generating realistic galaxy images. In particular we consider variations on conditional variational autoencoder and introduce a new adversarial objective for training of conditional generative networks. Our results suggest a reliable alternative to the acquisition of expensive high quality observations for generating the calibration data needed by the next generation of cosmological surveys.


Enabling Dark Energy Science with Deep Generative Models of Galaxy Images

AAAI Conferences

Understanding the nature of dark energy, the mysterious force driving the accelerated expansion of the Universe, is a major challenge of modern cosmology. The next generation of cosmological surveys, specifically designed to address this issue, rely on accurate measurements of the apparent shapes of distant galaxies. However, shape measurement methods suffer from various unavoidable biases and therefore will rely on a precise calibration to meet the accuracy requirements of the science analysis. This calibration process remains an open challenge as it requires large sets of high quality galaxy images. To this end, we study the application of deep conditional generative models in generating realistic galaxy images. In particular we consider variations on conditional variational autoencoder and introduce a new adversarial objective for training of conditional generative networks. Our results suggest a reliable alternative to the acquisition of expensive high quality observations for generating the calibration data needed by the next generation of cosmological surveys.


Estimating Galactic Distances From Images Using Self-supervised Representation Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We use a contrastive self-supervised learning framework to estimate distances to galaxies from their photometric images. We incorporate data augmentations from computer vision as well as an application-specific augmentation accounting for galactic dust. We find that the resulting visual representations of galaxy images are semantically useful and allow for fast similarity searches, and can be successfully fine-tuned for the task of redshift estimation. We show that (1) pretraining on a large corpus of unlabeled data followed by fine-tuning on some labels can attain the accuracy of a fully-supervised model which requires 2-4x more labeled data, and (2) that by fine-tuning our self-supervised representations using all available data labels in the Main Galaxy Sample of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we outperform the state-of-the-art supervised learning method.


Weak-lensing shear measurement with machine learning: teaching artificial neural networks about feature noise

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Cosmic shear is a primary cosmological probe for several present and upcoming surveys investigating dark matter and dark energy, such as Euclid or WFIRST. The probe requires an extremely accurate measurement of the shapes of millions of galaxies based on imaging data. Crucially, the shear measurement must address and compensate for a range of interwoven nuisance effects related to the instrument optics and detector, noise, unknown galaxy morphologies, colors, blending of sources, and selection effects. This paper explores the use of supervised machine learning (ML) as a tool to solve this inverse problem. We present a simple architecture that learns to regress shear point estimates and weights via shallow artificial neural networks. The networks are trained on simulations of the forward observing process, and take combinations of moments of the galaxy images as inputs. A challenging peculiarity of this ML application is the combination of the noisiness of the input features and the requirements on the accuracy of the inverse regression. To address this issue, the proposed training algorithm minimizes bias over multiple realizations of individual source galaxies, reducing the sensitivity to properties of the overall sample of source galaxies. Importantly, an observational selection function of these source galaxies can be straightforwardly taken into account via the weights. We first introduce key aspects of our approach using toy-model simulations, and then demonstrate its potential on images mimicking Euclid data. Finally, we analyze images from the GREAT3 challenge, obtaining competitively low shear biases despite the use of a simple training set. We conclude that the further development of ML approaches is of high interest to meet the stringent requirements on the shear measurement in current and future surveys. A demonstration implementation of our technique is publicly available.