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Radio galaxy zoo: Unsupervised clustering of convolutionally auto-encoded radio-astronomical images


Ralph, NO and Norris, RP and Fang, G and Park, LAF and Galvin, TJ and Alger, MJ and Andernach, H and Lintott, C and Rudnick, L and Shabala, S and Wong, OI, Radio galaxy zoo: Unsupervised clustering of convolutionally auto-encoded radio-astronomical images, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 131, (1004) Article 108011. ISSN 0004-6280 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2019. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

DOI: doi:10.1088/1538-3873/ab213d


This paper demonstrates a novel and efficient unsupervised clustering method with the combination of a self-organizing map (SOM) and a convolutional autoencoder. The rapidly increasing volume of radio-astronomical data has increased demand for machine-learning methods as solutions to classification and outlier detection. Major astronomical discoveries are unplanned and found in the unexpected, making unsupervised machine learning highly desirable by operating without assumptions and labeled training data. Our approach shows SOM training time is drastically reduced and high-level features can be clustered by training on auto-encoded feature vectors instead of raw images. Our results demonstrate this method is capable of accurately separating outliers on a SOM with neighborhood similarity and K-means clustering of radio-astronomical features. We present this method as a powerful new approach to data exploration by providing a detailed understanding of the morphology and relationships of Radio Galaxy Zoo (RGZ) data set image features which can be applied to new radio survey data.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:astronomical databases: miscellaneous radio continuum: galaxies methods: data analysis surveys
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Shabala, S (Associate Professor Stas Shabala)
ID Code:136808
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2020-01-20
Last Modified:2020-08-18

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