Status Report

ESA-Ariel Data Challenge NeurIPS 2022: Inferring Physical Properties of Exoplanets From Next-Generation Telescopes

By SpaceRef Editor
July 7, 2022
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Kai Hou Yip, Ingo P. Waldmann, Quentin Changeat, Mario Morvan, Ahmed F. Al-Refaie, Billy Edwards, Nikolaos Nikolaou, Angelos Tsiaras, Catarina Alves de Oliveira, Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Clare Jenner, James Y-K. Cho, Jeyan Thiyagalingam, Giovanna Tinetti

The study of extra-solar planets, or simply, exoplanets, planets outside our own Solar System, is fundamentally a grand quest to understand our place in the Universe. Discoveries in the last two decades have re-defined our understanding of planets, and helped us comprehend the uniqueness of our very own Earth. In recent years the focus has shifted from planet detection to planet characterisation, where key planetary properties are inferred from telescope observations using Monte Carlo-based methods. However, the efficiency of sampling-based methodologies is put under strain by the high-resolution observational data from next generation telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telescope and the Ariel Space Mission. We are delighted to announce the acceptance of the Ariel ML Data Challenge 2022 as part of the NeurIPS competition track. The goal of this challenge is to identify a reliable and scalable method to perform planetary characterisation. Depending on the chosen track, participants are tasked to provide either quartile estimates or the approximate distribution of key planetary properties. To this end, a synthetic spectroscopic dataset has been generated from the official simulators for the ESA Ariel Space Mission. The aims of the competition are three-fold. 1) To offer a challenging application for comparing and advancing conditional density estimation methods. 2) To provide a valuable contribution towards reliable and efficient analysis of spectroscopic data, enabling astronomers to build a better picture of planetary demographics, and 3) To promote the interaction between ML and exoplanetary science. The competition is open from 15th June and will run until early October, participants of all skill levels are more than welcomed!

Comments: 13 pages, Accepted in the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2022 (NeurIPS 2022), Competition hosted on

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability (

Cite as: arXiv:2206.14642 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2206.14642v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Quentin Changeat

[v1] Wed, 29 Jun 2022 13:35:40 UTC (1,765 KB)

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