Optical Wavelength Guided Self-Supervised Feature Learning For Galaxy Cluster Richness Estimate

Gongbo Liang, Yuanyuan Su, Sheng-Chieh Lin, Yu Zhang, Yuanyuan Zhang, Nathan Jacobs

Research output: Working paperPreprint

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Most galaxies in the nearby Universe are gravitationally bound to a cluster or group of galaxies. Their optical contents, such as optical richness, are crucial for understanding the co-evolution of galaxies and large-scale structures in modern astronomy and cosmology. The determination of optical richness can be challenging. We propose a self-supervised approach for estimating optical richness from multi-band optical images. The method uses the data properties of the multi-band optical images for pre-training, which enables learning feature representations from a large but unlabeled dataset. We apply the proposed method to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The result shows our estimate of optical richness lowers the mean absolute error and intrinsic scatter by 11.84% and 20.78%, respectively, while reducing the need for labeled training data by up to 60%. We believe the proposed method will benefit astronomy and cosmology, where a large number of unlabeled multi-band images are available, but acquiring image labels is costly.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
StatePublished - Dec 4 2020

Bibliographical note

Accepted to NeurIPS 2020 Workshop on Machine Learning and the Physical Sciences


  • cs.CV
  • astro-ph.CO
  • cs.LG
  • eess.IV


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