New Space and Tech

CzSL: A new Learning Paradigm For Astronomical Image Classification With Citizen Science

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
February 28, 2023
Filed under , ,
CzSL: A new Learning Paradigm For Astronomical Image Classification With Citizen Science
The CzSL learning workflow.

Citizen science is gaining popularity as a valuable tool for labelling large collections of astronomical images by the general public.

This is often achieved at the cost of poorer quality classifications made by amateur participants, which are usually verified by employing smaller data sets labelled by professional astronomers. Despite its success, citizen science alone will not be able to handle the classification of current and upcoming surveys.

To alleviate this issue, citizen science projects have been coupled with machine learning techniques in pursuit of a more robust automated classification. However, existing approaches have neglected the fact that, apart from the data labelled by amateurs, (limited) expert knowledge of the problem is also available along with vast amounts of unlabelled data that have not yet been exploited within a unified learning framework.

This paper presents an innovative learning paradigm for citizen science capable of taking advantage of expert- and amateur-labelled data, and unlabelled data. The proposed methodology first learns from unlabelled data with a convolutional autoencoder and then exploits amateur and expert labels via the pre-training and fine-tuning of a convolutional neural network, respectively.

We focus on the classification of galaxy images from the Galaxy Zoo project, from which we test binary, multi-class, and imbalanced classification scenarios. The results demonstrate that our solution is able to improve classification performance compared to a set of baseline approaches, deploying a promising methodology for learning from different confidence levels in data labelling.

Manuel Jimenez, Emilio J. Alfaro, Mercedes Torres Torres, Isaac Triguero

Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Image and Video Processing (eess.IV)
Cite as: arXiv:2302.00366 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:2302.00366v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
Submission history
From: Emilio J. Alfaro
[v1] Wed, 1 Feb 2023 10:51:07 UTC (1,266 KB)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.