Thursday, April 25, 2013

1304.6616 (Lorenzo Rimoldini)

Weighted statistical parameters for irregularly sampled time series    [PDF]

Lorenzo Rimoldini
Unevenly spaced time series are common in astronomy because of the day-night cycle, weather conditions, dependence on the source position in the sky, allocated telescope time, corrupt measurements, for example, or be inherent to the scanning law of satellites like Hipparcos and the forthcoming Gaia. This paper aims at improving the accuracy of common statistical parameters for the characterization of irregularly sampled signals. The uneven representation of time series, often including clumps of measurements and gaps with no data, can severely disrupt the values of estimators. A weighting scheme adapting to the sampling density and noise level of the signal is formulated. Its application to time series from the Hipparcos periodic catalogue led to significant improvements in the overall accuracy and precision of the estimators with respect to the unweighted counterparts and those weighted by inverse-squared uncertainties. Automated classification procedures employing statistical parameters weighted by the suggested scheme confirmed the benefits of the improved input attributes. The classification of eclipsing binaries, Mira, RR Lyrae, Delta Cephei and Alpha2 Canum Venaticorum stars employing exclusively weighted descriptive statistics achieved an overall accuracy of 92 per cent, about 6 per cent higher than with unweighted estimators.
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