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Shape index descriptors applied to texture-based galaxy analysis

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Pedersen, KS 
Stensbo-Smidt, Kristoffer  ORCID logo
Zirm, A 
Igel, C 


A texture descriptor based on the shape index and the accompanying curvedness measure is proposed, and it is evaluated for the automated analysis of astronomical image data. A representative sample of images of low-redshift galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) serves as a testbed. The goal of applying texture descriptors to these data is to extract novel information about galaxies; information which is often lost in more traditional analysis. In this study, we build a regression model for predicting a spectroscopic quantity, the specific star-formation rate (sSFR). As texture features we consider multi-scale gradient orientation histograms as well as multi-scale shape index histograms, which lead to a new descriptor. Our results show that we can successfully predict spectroscopic quantities from the texture in optical multi-band images. We successfully recover the observed bi-modal distribution of galaxies into quiescent and star-forming. The state-ofthe-art for predicting the sSFR is a color-based physical model. We significantly improve its accuracy by augmenting the model with texture information. This study is the first step towards enabling the quantification of physical galaxy properties from imaging data alone.



46 Information and Computing Sciences, 4607 Graphics, Augmented Reality and Games

Journal Title

Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision

Conference Name

2013 IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)

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The Danish Council for Independent Research | Natural Sciences through the project "Surveying the sky using machine learning" (FNU 12-125149)