Cosmic Microwave Background Analysis Tools
We plan to develop a complete suite of (CMB)-related software.
Forthcoming astrophysical data sets will be so large that novel
analysis techniques must be developed if the data is to be properly
exploited. We propose to apply state-of-the-art information science
techniques and tools to facilitate the analysis and visualization of
large data sets in astrophysics, particularly in cosmology within the
area of cosmic microwave background anisotropy studies. This research
field is widely considered to represent the future of cosmology, and
both NASA and ESA are devoting major resources towards generating
sensitive all-sky maps of the cosmic microwave background. However
present techniques will be entirely inadequate for the necessary data
analysis even on the largest available or projected supercomputers.
We adopt a comprehensive approach by addressing all aspects of
the analysis and visualization problem, and by assembling a multi-
team of computer scientists, statisticians, and CMB theory data and
- We will implement state-of-the-art computer
science serial and parallel algorithms to optimize the analysis programs
that are presently used to compare data to models.
Using existing public-domain packages (LAPACK, ScaLAPACK),
the codes will be performance portable across
high performance workstations, shared memory parallel machines, and
distributed memory parallel machines.
- An aggressive compression of the data, using e.g.
spherical wavelet transformation, and a proposed new method to extract
the scientific information from small subsections of the original data
set, will allow desktop workstations to perform meaningful analysis on
data sets that would otherwise be available only to massively parallel
supercomputers. We will develop the analysis technique and quantify
the relation between the level of compression and information loss.
- There are presently no systematic,
efficient techniques to test whether a data set is Gaussian or
non-Gaussian distributed. The problem is crucial for CMB anisotropy
as well as to other data sets in astrophysics. We will complete the
development, programming and distribution of a novel tool, which is
extremely efficient computationally, that searches and quantifies the
nature of the data-sets probability distribution function.
- Visualizing images of the CMB anisotropy sky is an
inherent part of the data analysis process. Spherical wavelets will be
adapted to the visualization of CMB anisotropy images, and to their
denoising/compression process. We will extend the standard Wiener
filtering/denoising technique to handle the expected large data sets.
The computational tools that we develop will be based on available
scientific programming environments such as IDL or MATLAB where
expedient, and will be distributed to the scientific community. The
final products of this effort will be documented, as a thoroughly
tested, optimized set of publicly-available tools. We expect that
these tools will be an integral part of the analysis of future
generation CMB anisotropy experiments, including the satellite
missions, and that they will be useful in other fields of astrophysics
The collaborators on this work come
from various disciplines.
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