A Machine Learning Approach to Galaxy-LSS Classification I: Imprints on Halo Merger Trees

May 15, 2020 - 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Bryen Irving (Stanford) via zoom

Join us this Friday, May 15th at 3pm exclusively on zoom for the next meeting of the Stats and ML Journal Club. This week, Bryen Irving will lead a discussion on LSS Classification via Merger Trees. See you then! 

The cosmic web plays a major role in the formation and evolution of galaxies and defines, to a large extent, their properties. However, the relation between galaxies and environment is still not well understood. Here we present a machine learning approach to study imprints of environmental effects on the mass assembly of haloes. We present a galaxy-LSS machine learning classifier based on galaxy properties sensitive to the environment. We then use the classifier to assess the relevance of each property. Correlations between galaxy properties and their cosmic environment can be used to predict galaxy membership to void/wall or filament/cluster with an accuracy of 93%. Our study unveils environmental information encoded in properties of haloes not normally considered directly dependent on the cosmic environment such as merger history and complexity. Understanding the physical mechanism by which the cosmic web is imprinted in a halo can lead to significant improvements in galaxy formation models. This is accomplished by extracting features from galaxy properties and merger trees, computing feature scores for each feature and then applying support vector machine to different feature sets. To this end, we have discovered that the shape and depth of the merger tree, formation time and density of the galaxy are strongly associated with the cosmic environment. We describe a significant improvement in the original classification algorithm by performing LU decomposition of the distance matrix computed by the feature vectors and then using the output of the decomposition as input vectors for support vector machine.