Integrating human and machine intelligence in galaxy morphology classification tasks

Beck, Melanie R and Scarlata, Claudia and Fortson, Lucy F and Lintott, Chris J and Simmons, B D and Galloway, Melanie A and Willett, Kyle W and Dickinson, Hugh and Masters, Karen L and Marshall, Philip J and Wright, Darryl (2018) Integrating human and machine intelligence in galaxy morphology classification tasks. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 476 (4). pp. 5516-5534. ISSN 0035-8711

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Quantifying galaxy morphology is a challenging yet scientifically rewarding task. As the scale of data continues to increase with upcoming surveys, traditional classification methods will struggle to handle the load. We present a solution through an integration of visual and automated classifications, preserving the best features of both human and machine. We demonstrate the effectiveness of such a system through a re-analysis of visual galaxy morphology classifications collected during the Galaxy Zoo 2 (GZ2) project. We reprocess the top-level question of the GZ2 decision tree with a Bayesian classification aggregation algorithm dubbed SWAP, originally developed for the Space Warps gravitational lens project. Through a simple binary classification scheme, we increase the classification rate nearly 5-fold classifying 226 124 galaxies in 92 d of GZ2 project time while reproducing labels derived from GZ2 classification data with 95.7 per cent accuracy. We next combine this with a Random Forest machine learning algorithm that learns on a suite of non-parametric morphology indicators widely used for automated morphologies. We develop a decision engine that delegates tasks between human and machine and demonstrate that the combined system provides at least a factor of 8 increase in the classification rate, classifying 210 803 galaxies in just 32 d of GZ2 project time with 93.1 per cent accuracy. As the Random Forest algorithm requires a minimal amount of computational cost, this result has important implications for galaxy morphology identification tasks in the era of Euclid and other large-scale surveys.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society following peer review
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?? astronomy and astrophysicsspace and planetary science ??
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Deposited On:
21 Sep 2018 11:54
Last Modified:
08 Apr 2024 23:59