Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Pichara K. and Protopapas P. (2013)

Automatic classification of variable stars in catalogs with missing data

Revista : Astrophysical Journal
Volumen : 777
Número : 2
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


We present an automatic classification method for astronomical catalogs with missing data. We use Bayesian networks, a probabilistic graphical model, that allows us to perform inference to pre- dict missing values given observed data and dependency relationships between variables. To learn a Bayesian network from incomplete data, we use an iterative algorithm that utilises sampling methods and expectation maximization to estimate the distributions and probabilistic dependencies of variables from data with missing values. To test our model we use three catalogs with missing data (SAGE, 2MASS and UBVI) and one complete catalog (MACHO). We examine how classification accuracy changes when information from missing data catalogs is included, how our method compares to tra- ditional missing data approaches and at what computational cost. Integrating these catalogs with missing data we find that classification of variable objects improves by few percent and by 15% for quasar detection while keeping the computational cost the same.