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Paper: Detecting Diffuse Sources in Astronomical Images
Volume: 512, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXV
Page: 217
Authors: Butler-Yeoman, T.; Frean, M.; Hollitt, C.P.; Hogg, D.W.; Johnston-Hollitt, M.
Abstract: We present an algorithm capable of detecting diffuse, dim sources of any size in an astronomical image. These sources often defeat traditional methods for source finding, which expand regions around points of high intensity. Extended sources often have no bright points and are only detectable when viewed as a whole, so a more sophisticated approach is required. Our algorithm operates at all scales simultaneously by considering a tree of nested candidate bounding boxes, and inverts a hierarchical Bayesian generative model to obtain the probability of sources existing at given locations and sizes. This model naturally accommodates the detection of nested sources, and no prior knowledge of the distribution of a source, or even the background, is required. The algorithm scales nearly linear with the number of pixels making it feasible to run on large images, and requires minimal parameter tweaking to be effective. We demonstrate the algorithm on several types of astronomical and artificial images.
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