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 Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1007/s10686-011-9263-0 Abstract: Interactive visualization of astronomical catalogs requires novel techniques due to the huge volumes and complex structure of the data produced by existing and upcoming astronomical surveys. The creation as well as the disclosure of the catalogs can be handled by data pulling mechanisms. These prevent unnecessary processing and facilitate data sharing by having users request the desired end products. In this work we present query driven visualization as a logical continuation of data pulling. Scientists can request catalogs in a declarative way and set process parameters directly from within the visualization. This results in profound interoperation between software with a high level of abstraction. New messages for the Simple Application Messaging Protocol are proposed to achieve this abstraction. Support for these messages are implemented in the Astro-WISE information system and in a set of demonstrational applications.
 Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1007/s10994-008-5093-3 Abstract: Catalogs of periodic variable stars contain large numbers of periodic light-curves (photometric time series data from the astrophysics domain). Separating anomalous objects from well-known classes is an important step towards the discovery of new classes of astronomical objects. Most anomaly detection methods for time series data assume either a single continuous time series or a set of time series whose periods are aligned. Light-curve data precludes the use of these methods as the periods of any given pair of light-curves may be out of sync. One may use an existing anomaly detection method if, prior to similarity calculation, one performs the costly act of aligning two light-curves, an operation that scales poorly to massive data sets. This paper presents PCAD, an unsupervised anomaly detection method for large sets of unsynchronized periodic time-series data, that outputs a ranked list of both global and local anomalies. It calculates its anomaly score for each light-curve in relation to a set of centroids produced by a modified k-means clustering algorithm. Our method is able to scale to large data sets through the use of sampling. We validate our method on both light-curve data and other time series data sets. We demonstrate its effectiveness at finding known anomalies, and discuss the effect of sample size and number of centroids on our results. We compare our method to naive solutions and existing time series anomaly detection methods for unphased data, and show that PCAD's reported anomalies are comparable to or better than all other methods. Finally, astrophysicists on our team have verified that PCAD finds true anomalies that might be indicative of novel astrophysical phenomena.
 Physics , 2011, Abstract: We present the design of a novel way of handling astronomical catalogs in Astro-WISE in order to achieve the scalability required for the data produced by large scale surveys. A high level of automation and abstraction is achieved in order to facilitate interoperation with visualization software for interactive exploration. At the same time flexibility in processing is enhanced and data is shared implicitly between scientists. This is accomplished by using a data model that primarily stores how catalogs are derived; the contents of the catalogs are only created when necessary and stored only when beneficial for performance. Discovery of existing catalogs and creation of new catalogs is done through the same process by directly requesting the final set of sources (astronomical objects) and attributes (physical properties) that is required, for example from within visualization software. New catalogs are automatically created to provide attributes of sources for which no suitable existing catalogs can be found. These catalogs are defined to contain the new attributes on the largest set of sources the calculation of the attributes is applicable to, facilitating reuse for future data requests. Subsequently, only those parts of the catalogs that are required for the requested end product are actually processed, ensuring scalability. The presented mechanisms primarily determine which catalogs are created and what data has to be processed and stored: the actual processing and storage itself is left to existing functionality of the underlying information system.
 Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s10686-012-9288-z Abstract: A novel method to infer logical relationships between sets is presented. These sets can be any collection of elements, for example astronomical catalogs of celestial objects. The method does not require the contents of the sets to be known explicitly. It combines incomplete knowledge about the relationships between sets to infer a priori unknown relationships. Relationships between sets are represented by sets of Boolean hypercubes. This leads to deductive reasoning by application of logical operators to these sets of hypercubes. A pseudocode for an efficient implementation is described. The method is used in the Astro-WISE information system to infer relationships between catalogs of astronomical objects. These catalogs can be very large and, more importantly, their contents do not have to be available at all times. Science products are stored in Astro-WISE with references to other science products from which they are derived, or their dependencies. This creates full data lineage that links every science product all the way back to the raw data. Catalogs are created in a way that maximizes knowledge about their relationship with their dependencies. The presented algorithm is used to determine which objects a catalog represents by leveraging this information.
 Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-3323-1_3 Abstract: The exponential growth of astronomical data collected by both ground based and space borne instruments has fostered the growth of Astroinformatics: a new discipline laying at the intersection between astronomy, applied computer science, and information and computation (ICT) technologies. At the very heart of Astroinformatics is a complex set of methodologies usually called Data Mining (DM) or Knowledge Discovery in Data Bases (KDD). In the astronomical domain, DM/KDD are still in a very early usage stage, even though new methods and tools are being continuously deployed in order to cope with the Massive Data Sets (MDS) that can only grow in the future. In this paper, we briefly outline some general problems encountered when applying DM/KDD methods to astrophysical problems, and describe the DAME (DAta Mining & Exploration) web application. While specifically tailored to work on MDS, DAME can be effectively applied also to smaller data sets. As an illustration, we describe two application of DAME to two different problems: the identification of candidate globular clusters in external galaxies, and the classification of active galactic nuclei (AGN). We believe that tools and services of this nature will become increasingly necessary for the data-intensive astronomy (and indeed all sciences) in the 21st century.
 Lorenzo Iorio Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/142/3/68 Abstract: Both the recently reported anomalous secular increase of the astronomical unit, of the order of a few cm yr^-1, and of the eccentricity of the lunar orbit e_ = (9+/-3) 10^-12 yr^-1 can be phenomenologically explained by postulating that the acceleration of a test particle orbiting a central body, in addition to usual Newtonian component, contains a small additional radial term proportional to the radial projection vr of the velocity of the particle's orbital motion. Indeed, it induces secular variations of both the semi-major axis a and the eccentricity e of the test particle's orbit. In the case of the Earth and the Moon, they numerically agree rather well with the measured anomalies if one takes the numerical value of the coefficient of proportionality of the extra-acceleration approximately equal to that of the Hubble parameter H0 = 7.3 10^-11 yr^-1.
 Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/111/37004 Abstract: Anomalous Hall effect arises in systems with both spin-orbit coupling and magnetization. Generally, there are three mechanisms contributing to anomalous Hall conductivity: intrinsic, side jump, and skew scattering. The standard diagrammatic approach to the anomalous Hall effect is limited to computation of ladder diagrams. We demonstrate that this approach is insufficient. An important additional contribution comes from diagrams with a single pair of intersecting disorder lines. This contribution constitutes an inherent part of skew scattering on pairs of closely located defects and essentially modifies previously obtained results for anomalous Hall conductivity. We argue that this statement is general and applies to all models of anomalous Hall effect. We illustrate it by an explicit calculation for two-dimensional massive Dirac fermions with weak disorder. In this case, inclusion of the diagrams with crossed impurity lines reverses the sign of the skew scattering term and strongly suppresses the total Hall conductivity at high electron concentrations.
 Physics , 1996, DOI: 10.1016/S0370-2693(96)01252-X Abstract: We evaluate the chiral condensate and Polyakov loop in two-dimensional QED with a fermion of an arbitrary mass ($m$). We find discontinuous $m$ dependence in the chiral condensate and anomalous temperature dependence in Polyakov loops when the vacuum angle $\theta$$\sim$$\pi$ and $m$=O($e$). These nonperturbative phenomena are due to the bifurcation process in the solutions to the vacuum eigenvalue equation.
 Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/209/2/29 Abstract: Spitzer IRAC observations and stellar photometric catalogs are presented for the Massive Young Star-Forming Complex Study in the Infrared and X-ray (MYStIX). MYStIX is a multiwavelength census of young stellar members of twenty nearby (d < 4 kpc), Galactic, star-forming regions that contain at least one O star. All regions have data available from the Spitzer Space Telescope, consisting of GLIMPSE or other published catalogs for eleven regions and results of our own photometric analysis of archival data for the remaining nine regions. This paper seeks to construct deep and reliable catalogs of sources from the Spitzer images. Mid-infrared study of these regions faces challenges of crowding and high nebulosity. Our new catalogs typically contain fainter sources than existing Spitzer studies, which improves the match rate to Chandra X-ray sources that are likely to be young stars, but increases the possibility of spurious point-source detections, especially peaks in the nebulosity. IRAC color-color diagrams help distinguish spurious detections of nebular PAH emission from the infrared excess associated with dusty disks around young stars. The distributions of sources on the mid-infrared color-magnitude and color-color diagrams reflect differences between MYStIX regions, including astrophysical e?ects such as stellar ages and disk evolution.
 Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1117/12.926440 Abstract: The Virtual Observatory (VO) is realizing global electronic integration of astronomy data. One of the long-term goals of the U.S. VO project, the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO), is development of services and protocols that respond to the growing size and complexity of astronomy data sets. This paper describes how VAO staff are active in such development efforts, especially in innovative strategies and techniques that recognize the limited operating budgets likely available to astronomers even as demand increases. The project has a program of professional outreach whereby new services and protocols are evaluated.
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