Astrophysics Source Code Library

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ASCL Code Record

[ascl:9909.005] BLOCK: A Bayesian block method to analyze structure in photon counting data

Bayesian Blocks is a time-domain algorithm for detecting localized structures (bursts), revealing pulse shapes, and generally characterizing intensity variations. The input is raw counting data, in any of three forms: time-tagged photon events, binned counts, or time-to-spill data. The output is the most probable segmentation of the observation into time intervals during which the photon arrival rate is perceptibly constant, i.e. has no statistically significant variations. The idea is not that the source is deemed to have this discontinuous, piecewise constant form, rather that such an approximate and generic model is often useful. The analysis is based on Bayesian statistics.

This code is obsolete and yields approximate results; see Bayesian Blocks instead for an algorithm guaranteeing exact global optimization.

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