AAS 197, January 2001
Session 107. Galaxy Clusters and Large Scale Structure II
Display, Thursday, January 11, 2001, 9:30-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[107.03] Finding SDSS Galaxy Clusters in 4-dimensional Color Space Using the False Discovery Rate

R.C. Nichol, C.J. Miller (CMU), D. Reichart (Caltech), L. Wasserman, C. Genovese (CMU), SDSS Collaboration

We describe a recently developed statistical technique that provides a meaningful cut-off in probability-based decision making. We are concerned with multiple testing, where each test produces a well-defined probability (or p-value). By well-known, we mean that the null hypothesis used to determine the p-value is fully understood and appropriate. The method is entitled False Discovery Rate (FDR) and its largest advantage over other measures is that it allows one to specify a maximal amount of acceptable error.

As an example of this tool, we apply FDR to a four-dimensional clustering algorithm using SDSS data. For each galaxy (or test galaxy), we count the number of neighbors that fit within one standard deviation of a four dimensional Gaussian centered on that test galaxy. The mean and standard deviation of that Gaussian are determined from the colors and errors of the test galaxy. We then take that same Gaussian and place it on a random selection of n galaxies and make a similar count. In the limit of large n, we expect the median count around these random galaxies to represent a typical field galaxy.

For every test galaxy we determine the probability (or p-value) that it is a field galaxy based on these counts. A low p-value implies that the test galaxy is in a cluster environment. Once we have a p-value for every galaxy, we use FDR to determine at what level we should make our probability cut-off. Once this cut-off is made, we have a final sample of galaxies that are cluster-like galaxies. Using FDR, we also know the maximum amount of field contamination in our cluster galaxy sample. We present our preliminary galaxy clustering results using these methods.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://ranger.phys.cmu.edu/sdss/SDSS_cluster. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: nichol@cmu.edu

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