DeepSource: Point Source Detection using Deep Learning

07/07/2018 ∙ by A. Vafaei Sadr, et al. ∙ 0

Point source detection at low signal-to-noise is challenging for astronomical surveys, particularly in radio interferometry images where the noise is correlated. Machine learning is a promising solution, allowing the development of algorithms tailored to specific telescope arrays and science cases. We present DeepSource - a deep learning solution - that uses convolutional neural networks to achieve these goals. DeepSource enhances the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of the original map and then uses dynamic blob detection to detect sources. Trained and tested on two sets of 500 simulated 1 deg x 1 deg MeerKAT images with a total of 300,000 sources, DeepSource is essentially perfect in both purity and completeness down to SNR = 4 and outperforms PyBDSF in all metrics. For uniformly-weighted images it achieves a Purity x Completeness (PC) score at SNR = 3 of 0.73, compared to 0.31 for the best PyBDSF model. For natural-weighting we find a smaller improvement of 40 = 3. If instead we ask where either of the purity or completeness first drop to 90 4.3 of PyBDSF (natural-weighting). A key advantage of DeepSource is that it can learn to optimally trade off purity and completeness for any science case under consideration. Our results show that deep learning is a promising approach to point source detection in astronomical images.

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