Challenges in the automated classification of variable stars in large databases
1 California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
2 National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85000, USA
Published online: 8 September 2017
With ever-increasing numbers of astrophysical transient surveys, new facilities and archives of astronomical time series, time domain astronomy is emerging as a mainstream discipline. However, the sheer volume of data alone - hundreds of observations for hundreds of millions of sources – necessitates advanced statistical and machine learning methodologies for scientific discovery: characterization, categorization, and classification. Whilst these techniques are slowly entering the astronomer’s toolkit, their application to astronomical problems is not without its issues. In this paper, we will review some of the challenges posed by trying to identify variable stars in large data collections, including appropriate feature representations, dealing with uncertainties, establishing ground truths, and simple discrete classes.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.