Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Aguirre C., Pichara K. and Becker I. (2019)

Deep multi-survey classification of variable stars

Revista : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volumen : 482
Número : 4
Páginas : 5078–5092
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


During the last decade, a considerable amount of effort has been made to classify variable stars using different machine learning techniques. Typically, light curves are represented as vectors of statistical descriptors or features that are used to train various algorithms. These features demand big computational powers that can last from hours to days, making impossible to create scalable and efficient ways of automatically classifying variable stars. Also, light curves from different surveys cannot be integrated and analyzed together when using features, because of observational differences. For example, having variations in cadence and filters, feature distributions become biased and require expensive data-calibration models. The vast amount of data that will be generated soon make necessary to develop scalable machine learning architectures without expensive integration techniques. Convolutional Neural Networks have shown impressing results in raw image classification and representation within the machine learning literature. In this work, we present a novel Deep Learning model for light curve classification, mainly based on convolutional units. Our architecture receives as input the differences between time and magnitude of light curves. It captures the essential classification patterns regardless of cadence and filter. In addition, we introduce a novel data augmentation schema for unevenly sampled time series. We test our method using three different surveys: OGLE-III; Corot; and VVV, which differ in filters, cadence, and area of the sky. We show that besides the benefit of scalability, our model obtains state of the art levels accuracy in light curve classification benchmarks.