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Article

On the Quality of Deep Representations for Kepler Light Curves Using Variational Auto-Encoders

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Department of Informatics, Federico Santa María Technical University, Santiago 8940572, Chile
2
Department of Electronics, Federico Santa María Technical University, Valparaíso 2390123, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Zhong Liu
Signals 2021, 2(4), 706-728; https://doi.org/10.3390/signals2040042
Received: 1 April 2021 / Revised: 16 August 2021 / Accepted: 8 October 2021 / Published: 14 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine Learning and Signal Processing)
Light curve analysis usually involves extracting manually designed features associated with physical parameters and visual inspection. The large amount of data collected nowadays in astronomy by different surveys represents a major challenge of characterizing these signals. Therefore, finding good informative representation for them is a key non-trivial task. Some studies have tried unsupervised machine learning approaches to generate this representation without much effectiveness. In this article, we show that variational auto-encoders can learn these representations by taking the difference between successive timestamps as an additional input. We present two versions of such auto-encoders: Variational Recurrent Auto-Encoder plus time (VRAEt) and re-Scaling Variational Recurrent Auto Encoder plus time (S-VRAEt). The objective is to achieve the most likely low-dimensional representation of the time series that matched latent variables and, in order to reconstruct it, should compactly contain the pattern information. In addition, the S-VRAEt embeds the re-scaling preprocessing of the time series into the model in order to use the Flux standard deviation in the learning of the light curves structure. To assess our approach, we used the largest transit light curve dataset obtained during the 4 years of the Kepler mission and compared to similar techniques in signal processing and light curves. The results show that the proposed methods obtain improvements in terms of the quality of the deep representation of phase-folded transit light curves with respect to their deterministic counterparts. Specifically, they present a good balance between the reconstruction task and the smoothness of the curve, validated with the root mean squared error, mean absolute error, and auto-correlation metrics. Furthermore, there was a good disentanglement in the representation, as validated by the Pearson correlation and mutual information metrics. Finally, a useful representation to distinguish categories was validated with the F1 score in the task of classifying exoplanets. Moreover, the S-VRAEt model increases all the advantages of VRAEt, achieving a classification performance quite close to its maximum model capacity and generating light curves that are visually comparable to a Mandel–Agol fit. Thus, the proposed methods present a new way of analyzing and characterizing light curves. View Full-Text
Keywords: variational auto-encoder; representation learning; transit model; light curve; unsupervised learning variational auto-encoder; representation learning; transit model; light curve; unsupervised learning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mena, F.; Olivares, P.; Bugueño, M.; Molina, G.; Araya, M. On the Quality of Deep Representations for Kepler Light Curves Using Variational Auto-Encoders. Signals 2021, 2, 706-728. https://doi.org/10.3390/signals2040042

AMA Style

Mena F, Olivares P, Bugueño M, Molina G, Araya M. On the Quality of Deep Representations for Kepler Light Curves Using Variational Auto-Encoders. Signals. 2021; 2(4):706-728. https://doi.org/10.3390/signals2040042

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mena, Francisco, Patricio Olivares, Margarita Bugueño, Gabriel Molina, and Mauricio Araya. 2021. "On the Quality of Deep Representations for Kepler Light Curves Using Variational Auto-Encoders" Signals 2, no. 4: 706-728. https://doi.org/10.3390/signals2040042

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