Journal Article

Improving PSF modelling for weak gravitational lensing using new methods in model selection

Barnaby Rowe

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 404, issue 1, pages 350-366
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Improving PSF modelling for weak gravitational lensing using new methods in model selection

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A simple theoretical framework for the description and interpretation of spatially correlated modelling residuals is presented, and the resulting tools are found to provide a useful aid to model selection in the context of weak gravitational lensing. The description is focused upon the specific problem of modelling the spatial variation of a telescope point spread function (PSF) across the instrument field of view, a crucial stage in lensing data analysis, but the technique may be used to rank competing models wherever data are described empirically. As such it may, with further development, provide useful extra information when used in combination with existing model selection techniques such as the Akaike and Bayesian information criteria, or the Bayesian evidence. Two independent diagnostic correlation functions are described, and the interpretation of these functions is demonstrated by using a simulated PSF anisotropy field. The efficacy of these diagnostic functions as an aid to the correct choice of empirical model is then demonstrated by analysing results for a suite of Monte Carlo simulations of random PSF fields with varying degrees of spatial structure, and it is shown how the diagnostic functions can be related to requirements for precision cosmic shear measurement. The limitations of the technique, and opportunities for improvements and applications to fields other than weak gravitational lensing, are discussed.

Keywords: gravitational lensing; methods: data analysis; methods: statistical; cosmology: observations; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  13665 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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