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Paper: Compare: A Scaleable and Portable Catalog Cross-Comparison Engine for the NVO
Volume: 314, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIII
Page: 589
Authors: Monkewitz, S.; Good, J.
Abstract: We describe the architecture of a general cross-comparison engine capable of spatially matching sources in one astronomical source catalog with those in another. The software is highly modular and is written in portable C++. By performing many cross-comparisons of small sky regions in parallel, the software will scale to very large input catalog sizes. Support is provided for common catalog formats and data sources (e.g. local disk, database servers), and the addition of support for custom data formats and sources is simplified by the modular architecture employed. Hooks for customized source pre-processing and match-list post-processing are also available. Taken together, these attributes will make Compare a powerful package for cross-comparing astronomical catalogs on all scales and for cross-identifying sources between catalogs, allowing it to serve the needs of both large projects and individual astronomers. In particular, the package will be installed at San Diego Supercomputer Center, where it will perform cross-comparison between large-scale catalogs (such as MACHO and 2MASS) housed there. When complete, it will be a cornerstone compute service for the NVO. We have applied an early version of the package to the cross-comparison of the SDSS Early Data Release and the 2MASS 2nd Incremental Data Release catalogs, a computation central to the NVO Brown Dwarf demonstration project. Despite being performed sequentially, the comparison of 9.8 million SDSS sources to 0.5 million 2MASS sources completed in approximately 100 seconds when run on a 4 CPU Sun V480 with 16GB of memory.
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