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A comparison of period finding algorithms

Graham, Matthew J. and Drake, Andrew J. and Djorgovski, S. G. and Mahabal, Ashish A. and Donalek, Ciro and Duan, Victor and Maker, Allison (2013) A comparison of period finding algorithms. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 434 (4). pp. 3423-3444. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stt1264.

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This paper presents a comparison of popular period finding algorithms applied to the light curves of variable stars from the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey, MACHO and ASAS data sets. We analyse the accuracy of the methods against magnitude, sampling rates, quoted period, quality measures (signal-to-noise and number of observations), variability and object classes. We find that measure of dispersion-based techniques – analysis of variance with harmonics and conditional entropy – consistently give the best results but there are clear dependences on object class and light-curve quality. Period aliasing and identifying a period harmonic also remain significant issues. We consider the performance of the algorithms and show that a new conditional entropy-based algorithm is the most optimal in terms of completeness and speed. We also consider a simple ensemble approach and find that it performs no better than individual algorithms.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Paper
Graham, Matthew J.0000-0002-3168-0139
Djorgovski, S. G.0000-0002-0603-3087
Mahabal, Ashish A.0000-0003-2242-0244
Additional Information:© 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2013 July 8. Received 2013 July 8; in original form 2013 May 7. First published online: August 1, 2013. We thank the referee, Lorenzo Rimoldini, for their meticulous reading of the paper and useful comments. We thank Eric Feigelson for useful discussions on this work and the various providers of software. This work was supported in part by the NSF grants AST-0909182 and IIS-1118041, by the W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies, and by the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory, itself supported by the NSF grant AST-0834235. This research has made use of data obtained from or software provided by the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research has made use of the SIMBAD data base, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France and the International VSX data base, operated at AAVSO, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck Institute for Space StudiesUNSPECIFIED
US Virtual Astronomical ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:methods: data analysis; techniques: photometric; astronomical data bases: miscellaneous; virtual observatory tools
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131205-144250650
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42863
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Dec 2013 23:55
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:29

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