Sparse reconstruction of the merging A520 cluster system

Sparse reconstruction of the merging A520 cluster system


Authors: A. Peel, F. Lanusse, J.-L. Starck
Journal: submitted to ApJ
Year: 08/2017
Download: ADS| Arxiv


Merging galaxy clusters present a unique opportunity to study the properties of dark matter in an astrophysical context. These are rare and extreme cosmic events in which the bulk of the baryonic matter becomes displaced from the dark matter halos of the colliding subclusters. Since all mass bends light, weak gravitational lensing is a primary tool to study the total mass distribution in such systems. Combined with X-ray and optical analyses, mass maps of cluster mergers reconstructed from weak-lensing observations have been used to constrain the self-interaction cross-section of dark matter. The dynamically complex Abell 520 (A520) cluster is an exceptional case, even among merging systems: multi-wavelength observations have revealed a surprising high mass-to-light concentration of dark mass, the interpretation of which is difficult under the standard assumption of effectively collisionless dark matter. We revisit A520 using a new sparsity-based mass-mapping algorithm to independently assess the presence of the puzzling dark core. We obtain high-resolution mass reconstructions from two separate galaxy shape catalogs derived from Hubble Space Telescope observations of the system. Our mass maps agree well overall with the results of previous studies, but we find important differences. In particular, although we are able to identify the dark core at a certain level in both data sets, it is at much lower significance than has been reported before using the same data. As we cannot confirm the detection in our analysis, we do not consider A520 as posing a significant challenge to the collisionless dark matter scenario.


PSF field learning based on Optimal Transport Distances


Authors: F. Ngolè Mboula, J-L. Starck
Journal: arXiv
Year: 2017
Download: ADS | arXiv



Context: in astronomy, observing large fractions of the sky within a reasonable amount of time implies using large field-of-view (fov) optical instruments that typically have a spatially varying Point Spread Function (PSF). Depending on the scientific goals, galaxies images need to be corrected for the PSF whereas no direct measurement of the PSF is available. Aims: given a set of PSFs observed at random locations, we want to estimate the PSFs at galaxies locations for shapes measurements correction. Contributions: we propose an interpolation framework based on Sliced Optimal Transport. A non-linear dimension reduction is first performed based on local pairwise approximated Wasserstein distances. A low dimensional representation of the unknown PSFs is then estimated, which in turn is used to derive representations of those PSFs in the Wasserstein metric. Finally, the interpolated PSFs are calculated as approximated Wasserstein barycenters. Results: the proposed method was tested on simulated monochromatic PSFs of the Euclid space mission telescope (to be launched in 2020). It achieves a remarkable accuracy in terms of pixels values and shape compared to standard methods such as Inverse Distance Weighting or Radial Basis Function based interpolation methods.


Joint Multichannel Deconvolution and Blind Source Separation


Authors: M. Jiang, J. Bobin, J-L. Starck
Journal: arXiv
Year: 2017
Download: ADS | arXiv



Blind Source Separation (BSS) is a challenging matrix factorization problem that plays a central role in multichannel imaging science. In a large number of applications, such as astrophysics, current unmixing methods are limited since real-world mixtures are generally affected by extra instrumental effects like blurring. Therefore, BSS has to be solved jointly with a deconvolution problem, which requires tackling a new inverse problem: deconvolution BSS (DBSS). In this article, we introduce an innovative DBSS approach, called DecGMCA, based on sparse signal modeling and an efficient alternative projected least square algorithm. Numerical results demonstrate that the DecGMCA algorithm performs very well on simulations. It further highlights the importance of jointly solving BSS and deconvolution instead of considering these two problems independently. Furthermore, the performance of the proposed DecGMCA algorithm is demonstrated on simulated radio-interferometric data.


Space variant deconvolution of galaxy survey images


Authors: S. Farrens, J-L. Starck, F. Ngolè Mboula
Journal: A&A
Year: 2017
Download: ADS | arXiv


Removing the aberrations introduced by the Point Spread Function (PSF) is a fundamental aspect of astronomical image processing. The presence of noise in observed images makes deconvolution a nontrivial task that necessitates the use of regularisation. This task is particularly difficult when the PSF varies spatially as is the case for the Euclid telescope. New surveys will provide images containing thousand of galaxies and the deconvolution regularisation problem can be considered from a completely new perspective. In fact, one can assume that galaxies belong to a low-rank dimensional space. This work introduces the use of the low-rank matrix approximation as a regularisation prior for galaxy image deconvolution and compares its performance with a standard sparse regularisation technique. This new approach leads to a natural way to handle a space variant PSF. Deconvolution is performed using a Python code that implements a primal-dual splitting algorithm. The data set considered is a sample of 10 000 space-based galaxy images convolved with a known spatially varying Euclid-like PSF and including various levels of Gaussian additive noise. Performance is assessed by examining the deconvolved galaxy image pixels and shapes. The results demonstrate that for small samples of galaxies sparsity performs better in terms of pixel and shape recovery, while for larger samples of galaxies it is possible to obtain more accurate estimates of the galaxy shapes using the low-rank approximation.


Point Spread Function

The Point Spread Function or PSF of an imaging system (also referred to as the impulse response) describes how the system responds to a point (unextended) source. In astrophysics, stars or quasars are often used to measure the PSF of an instrument as in ideal conditions their light would occupy a single pixel on a CCD. Telescopes, however, diffract the incoming photons which limits the maximum resolution achievable. In reality, the images obtained from telescopes include aberrations from various sources such as:

  • The atmosphere (for ground based instruments)
  • Jitter (for space based instruments)
  • Imperfections in the optical system
  • Charge spread of the detectors


In order to recover the true image properties it is necessary to remove PSF effects from observations. If the PSF is known (which is certainly not trivial) one can attempt to deconvolve the PSF from the image. In the absence of noise this is simple. We can model the observed image \mathbf{y} as follows


where \mathbf{x} is the true image and \mathbf{H} is an operator that represents the convolution with the PSF. Thus, to recover the true image, one would simply invert \mathbf{H} as follows


Unfortunately, the images we observe also contain noise (e.g. from the CCD readout) and this complicates the problem.

\mathbf{y}=\mathbf{Hx} + \mathbf{n}

This problem is ill-posed as even the tiniest amount of noise will have a large impact on the result of the operation. Therefore, to obtain a stable and unique solution, it is necessary to regularise the problem by adding additional prior knowledge of the true images.


One way to regularise the problem is using sparsity. The concept of sparsity is quite simple. If we know that there is a representation of \mathbf{x} that is sparse (i.e. most of the coefficients are zeros) then we can force our deconvolved observation \mathbf{\hat{x}} to be sparse in the same domain. In practice we aim to minimise a problem of the following form

\begin{aligned} & \underset{\mathbf{x}}{\text{argmin}} & \frac{1}{2}\|\mathbf{y}-\mathbf{H}\mathbf{x}\|_2^2 + \lambda\|\Phi(\mathbf{x})\|_1 & & \text{s.t.} & & \mathbf{x} \ge 0 \end{aligned}

where \Phi is a matrix that transforms \mathbf{x} to the sparse domain and \lambda is a regularisation control parameter.

Low-Rank Approximation

Another way to regularise the problem is assume that all of the images one aims to deconvolve live on a underlying low-rank manifold. In other words, if we have a sample of galaxy images we wish to deconvolve then we can construct a matrix X X where each column is a vector of galaxy pixel coefficients. If many of these galaxies have similar properties then we know that X X will have a smaller rank than if images were all very different. We can use this knowledge to regularise the deconvolution problem in the following way

\begin{aligned} & \underset{\mathbf{X}}{\text{argmin}} & \frac{1}{2}\|\mathbf{Y}-\mathcal{H}(\mathbf{X})\|_2^2 + \lambda|\mathbf{X}\|_* & & \text{s.t.} & & \mathbf{X} \ge 0 \end{aligned}


In the paper I implement both of these regularisation techniques and compare how well they perform at deconvolving a sample of 10,000 Euclid-like galaxy images. The results show that, for the data used, sparsity does a better job at recovering the image pixels, while the low-rank approximation does a better job a recovering the galaxy shapes (provided enough galaxies are used).


SF_DECONVOLVE is a Python code designed for PSF deconvolution using a low-rank approximation and sparsity. The code can handle a fixed PSF for the entire field or a stack of PSFs for each galaxy position.



Cosmological constraints with weak-lensing peak counts and second-order statistics in a large-field survey


Authors: A. Peel, C.-A. Lin, F. Lanusse, A. Leonard, J.-L. Starck, M. Kilbinger
Journal: A&A
Year: 2017
Download: ADS | arXiv



Peak statistics in weak lensing maps access the non-Gaussian information contained in the large-scale distribution of matter in the Universe. They are therefore a promising complement to two-point and higher-order statistics to constrain our cosmological models. To prepare for the high-precision data of next-generation surveys, we assess the constraining power of peak counts in a simulated Euclid-like survey on the cosmological parameters Ωm\Omega_\mathrm{m}, σ8\sigma_8, and w0dew_0^\mathrm{de}. In particular, we study how the Camelus model--a fast stochastic algorithm for predicting peaks--can be applied to such large surveys. We measure the peak count abundance in a mock shear catalogue of ~5,000 sq. deg. using a multiscale mass map filtering technique. We then constrain the parameters of the mock survey using Camelus combined with approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). We find that peak statistics yield a tight but significantly biased constraint in the σ8\sigma_8-Ωm\Omega_\mathrm{m} plane, indicating the need to better understand and control the model's systematics. We calibrate the model to remove the bias and compare results to those from the two-point correlation functions (2PCF) measured on the same field. In this case, we find the derived parameter Σ8=σ8(Ωm/0.27)α=0.76−0.03+0.02\Sigma_8=\sigma_8(\Omega_\mathrm{m}/0.27)^\alpha=0.76_{-0.03}^{+0.02} with α=0.65\alpha=0.65 for peaks, while for 2PCF the value is Σ8=0.76−0.01+0.02\Sigma_8=0.76_{-0.01}^{+0.02} with α=0.70\alpha=0.70. We therefore see comparable constraining power between the two probes, and the offset of their σ8\sigma_8-Ωm\Omega_\mathrm{m} degeneracy directions suggests that a combined analysis would yield tighter constraints than either measure alone. As expected, w0dew_0^\mathrm{de} cannot be well constrained without a tomographic analysis, but its degeneracy directions with the other two varied parameters are still clear for both peaks and 2PCF.


Constraint matrix factorization for space variant PSFs field restoration


Authors: F. Ngolè Mboula, J-L. Starck, K. Okumura, J. Amiaux, P. Hudelot
Journal: IOP Inverse Problems
Year: 2016
Download: ADS | arXiv



Context: in large-scale spatial surveys, the Point Spread Function (PSF) varies across the instrument field of view (FOV). Local measurements of the PSFs are given by the isolated stars images. Yet, these estimates may not be directly usable for post-processings because of the observational noise and potentially the aliasing. Aims: given a set of aliased and noisy stars images from a telescope, we want to estimate well-resolved and noise-free PSFs at the observed stars positions, in particular, exploiting the spatial correlation of the PSFs across the FOV. Contributions: we introduce RCA (Resolved Components Analysis) which is a noise-robust dimension reduction and super-resolution method based on matrix factorization. We propose an original way of using the PSFs spatial correlation in the restoration process through sparsity. The introduced formalism can be applied to correlated data sets with respect to any euclidean parametric space. Results: we tested our method on simulated monochromatic PSFs of Euclid telescope (launch planned for 2020). The proposed method outperforms existing PSFs restoration and dimension reduction methods. We show that a coupled sparsity constraint on individual PSFs and their spatial distribution yields a significant improvement on both the restored PSFs shapes and the PSFs subspace identification, in presence of aliasing. Perspectives: RCA can be naturally extended to account for the wavelength dependency of the PSFs.


CMB reconstruction from the WMAP and Planck PR2 data


Authors:  J. Bobin, F. Sureau and J. -L. Starck
Journal: A&A
Year: 2015
Download: ADS | arXiv


In this article, we describe a new estimate of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) intensity map reconstructed by a joint analysis of the full Planck 2015 data (PR2) and WMAP nine-years. It provides more than a mere update of the CMB map introduced in (Bobin et al. 2014b) since it benefits from an improvement of the component separation method L-GMCA (Local-Generalized Morphological Component Analysis) that allows the efficient separation of correlated components (Bobin et al. 2015). Based on the most recent CMB data, we further confirm previous results (Bobin et al. 2014b) showing that the proposed CMB map estimate exhibits appealing characteristics for astrophysical and cosmological applications: i) it is a full sky map that did not require any inpainting or interpolation post-processing, ii) foreground contamination is showed to be very low even on the galactic center, iii) it does not exhibit any detectable trace of thermal SZ contamination. We show that its power spectrum is in good agreement with the Planck PR2 official theoretical best-fit power spectrum. Finally, following the principle of reproducible research, we provide the codes to reproduce the L-GMCA, which makes it the only reproducible CMB map.