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[ascl:1109.006] MultiNest: Efficient and Robust Bayesian Inference

We present further development and the first public release of our multimodal nested sampling algorithm, called MultiNest. This Bayesian inference tool calculates the evidence, with an associated error estimate, and produces posterior samples from distributions that may contain multiple modes and pronounced (curving) degeneracies in high dimensions. The developments presented here lead to further substantial improvements in sampling efficiency and robustness, as compared to the original algorithm presented in Feroz & Hobson (2008), which itself significantly outperformed existing MCMC techniques in a wide range of astrophysical inference problems. The accuracy and economy of the MultiNest algorithm is demonstrated by application to two toy problems and to a cosmological inference problem focusing on the extension of the vanilla $Lambda$CDM model to include spatial curvature and a varying equation of state for dark energy. The MultiNest software is fully parallelized using MPI and includes an interface to CosmoMC (ascl:1106.025). It will also be released as part of the SuperBayeS package (ascl:1109.007) for the analysis of supersymmetric theories of particle physics.

[ascl:1109.007] SuperBayeS: Supersymmetry Parameters Extraction Routines for Bayesian Statistics

SuperBayeS is a package for fast and efficient sampling of supersymmetric theories. It uses Bayesian techniques to explore multidimensional SUSY parameter spaces and to compare SUSY predictions with observable quantities, including sparticle masses, collider observables, dark matter abundance, direct detection cross sections, indirect detection quantities etc. Scanning can be performed using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) technology or even more efficiently by employing a new scanning technique called, MultiNest. which implements the nested sampling algorithm. Using MultiNest, a full 8-dimensional scan of the CMSSM takes about 12 hours on 10 2.4GHz CPUs. There is also an option for old-style fixed-grid scanning. A discussion forum for SuperBayeS is available.

The package combines SoftSusy, DarkSusy, FeynHiggs, Bdecay, MultiNest and MicrOMEGAs. Some of the routines and the plotting tools are based on CosmoMC.

SuperBayeS comes with SuperEGO, a MATLAB graphical user interface tool for interactive plotting of the results. SuperEGO has been developed by Rachid Lemrani and is based on CosmoloGUI by Sarah Bridle.

[ascl:1109.008] Multipole Vectors: Decomposing Functions on a Sphere

We propose a novel representation of cosmic microwave anisotropy maps, where each multipole order l is represented by l unit vectors pointing in directions on the sky and an overall magnitude. These "multipole vectors and scalars" transform as vectors under rotations. Like the usual spherical harmonics, multipole vectors form an irreducible representation of the proper rotation group SO(3). However, they are related to the familiar spherical harmonic coefficients, alm, in a nonlinear way, and are therefore sensitive to different aspects of the CMB anisotropy. Nevertheless, it is straightforward to determine the multipole vectors for a given CMB map and we present an algorithm to compute them. Using the WMAP full-sky maps, we perform several tests of the hypothesis that the CMB anisotropy is statistically isotropic and Gaussian random. We find that the result from comparing the oriented area of planes defined by these vectors between multipole pairs 2<=l1!=l2<=8 is inconsistent with the isotropic Gaussian hypothesis at the 99.4% level for the ILC map and at 98.9% level for the cleaned map of Tegmark et al. A particular correlation is suggested between the l=3 and l=8 multipoles, as well as several other pairs. This effect is entirely different from the now familiar planarity and alignment of the quadrupole and octupole: while the aforementioned is fairly unlikely, the multipole vectors indicate correlations not expected in Gaussian random skies that make them unusually likely. The result persists after accounting for pixel noise and after assuming a residual 10% dust contamination in the cleaned WMAP map. While the definitive analysis of these results will require more work, we hope that multipole vectors will become a valuable tool for various cosmological tests, in particular those of cosmic isotropy.

[ascl:1109.009] CMBquick: Spectrum and Bispectrum of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)

CMBquick is a package for Mathematica in which tools are provided to compute the spectrum and bispectrum of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). It is unavoidably slow, but the main goal is not to design a tool which can be used for systematic exploration of parameters in cosmology, but rather a toy CMB code which is transparent and easily modified. Considering this, the name chosen is nothing but a joke which refers to the widely spread and used softwares CMBFAST, CAMB or CMBeasy (ascl:1007.004), which should be used for serious and heavy first order CMB computations, and which are indeed very fast.

The package CMBquick is unavoidably slow when it comes to compute the multipoles Cls, and most of it is due to the access time for variables which in Mathematica is approximately ten times slower than in C or Fortran. CMBquick is thus approximately 10 times slower than CAMB and cannot be used for the same reasons. It uses the same method as CAMB for computing the CMB spectrum, which is based on the line of sight approach. However the integration is performed in a different gauge with different time steps and k-spacing. It benefits from the power of Mathematica on numerical resolution of stiff differential systems, and the transfer functions can be obtained with exquisite accuracy.

The purpose of CMBquick is thus twofold. First, CMBquick is a slow but precise and pedagogical, tool which can be used to explore and modify the physical content of the linear and non-linear dynamics. Second, it is a tool which can help developing templates for nonlinear computations, which could then be hard coded once their correctness is checked. The number of equations for non-linear dynamics is quite sizable and CMBquick makes it easy (but slow) to manipulate the non-linear equations, to solve them precisely, and to plot them.

[ascl:1109.010] PyModelFit: Model-fitting Framework and GUI Tool

PyModelFit provides a pythonic, object-oriented framework that simplifies the task of designing numerical models to fit data. This is a very broad task, and hence the current functionality of PyModelFit focuses on the simpler tasks of 1D curve-fitting, including a GUI interface to simplify interactive work (using Enthought Traits). For more complicated modeling, PyModelFit also provides a wide range of classes and a framework to support more general model/data types (2D to Scalar, 3D to Scalar, 3D to 3D, and so on).

[ascl:1109.011] GalactICS: Galaxy Model Building Package

GalactICS generates N-body realizations of axisymmetric galaxy models consisting of disk, bulge and halo. Some of the code is in Fortran 77, using lines longer than 72 characters in some cases. The -e flag in the makefile allow for this for a Solaris f77 compiler. Other programs are written in C. Again, the linking between these routines works on Solaris systems, but may need to be adjusted for other architectures. We have found that linking using f77 instead of ld will often automatically load the appropriate libraries.

The graphics output by some of the programs (dbh, plotforce, diskdf, plothalo) uses the PGPLOT library. Alternatively, remove all calls to routines with names starting with "PG", as well as the -lpgplot flag in the Makefile, and the programs should still run fine.

[ascl:1109.012] EnBiD: Fast Multi-dimensional Density Estimation

We present a method to numerically estimate the densities of a discretely sampled data based on a binary space partitioning tree. We start with a root node containing all the particles and then recursively divide each node into two nodes each containing roughly equal number of particles, until each of the nodes contains only one particle. The volume of such a leaf node provides an estimate of the local density and its shape provides an estimate of the variance. We implement an entropy-based node splitting criterion that results in a significant improvement in the estimation of densities compared to earlier work. The method is completely metric free and can be applied to arbitrary number of dimensions. We use this method to determine the appropriate metric at each point in space and then use kernel-based methods for calculating the density. The kernel-smoothed estimates were found to be more accurate and have lower dispersion. We apply this method to determine the phase-space densities of dark matter haloes obtained from cosmological N-body simulations. We find that contrary to earlier studies, the volume distribution function v(f) of phase-space density f does not have a constant slope but rather a small hump at high phase-space densities. We demonstrate that a model in which a halo is made up by a superposition of Hernquist spheres is not capable in explaining the shape of v(f) versus f relation, whereas a model which takes into account the contribution of the main halo separately roughly reproduces the behaviour as seen in simulations. The use of the presented method is not limited to calculation of phase-space densities, but can be used as a general purpose data-mining tool and due to its speed and accuracy it is ideally suited for analysis of large multidimensional data sets.

[ascl:1109.013] CULSP: Fast Calculation of the Lomb-Scargle Periodogram Using Graphics Processing Units

I introduce a new code for fast calculation of the Lomb-Scargle periodogram, that leverages the computing power of graphics processing units (GPUs). After establishing a background to the newly emergent field of GPU computing, I discuss the code design and narrate key parts of its source. Benchmarking calculations indicate no significant differences in accuracy compared to an equivalent CPU-based code. However, the differences in performance are pronounced; running on a low-end GPU, the code can match 8 CPU cores, and on a high-end GPU it is faster by a factor approaching thirty. Applications of the code include analysis of long photometric time series obtained by ongoing satellite missions and upcoming ground-based monitoring facilities; and Monte-Carlo simulation of periodogram statistical properties.

[ascl:1109.014] Supernova Flux-averaging Likelihood Code

Flux-averaging justifies the use of the distance-redshift relation for a smooth universe in the analysis of type Ia supernova (SN Ia) data. Flux-averaging of SN Ia data is required to yield cosmological parameter constraints that are free of the bias induced by weak gravitational lensing. SN Ia data are converted into flux. For a given cosmological model, the distance dependence of the data is removed, then the data are binned in redshift, and placed at the average redshift in each redshift bin. The likelihood of the given cosmological model is then computed using "flux statistics''. These Fortran codes compute the likelihood of an arbitrary cosmological model [with given H(z)/H_0] using flux-averaged Type Ia supernova data.

[ascl:1109.015] WCSTools: Image Astrometry Toolkit

WCSTools is a package of programs and a library of utility subroutines for setting and using the world coordinate systems (WCS) in the headers of the most common astronomical image formats, FITS and IRAF .imh, to relate image pixels to sky coordinates. In addition to dealing with image WCS information, WCSTools has extensive catalog search, image header manipulation, and coordinate and time conversion tasks. This software is all written in very portable C, so it should compile and run on any computer with a C compiler.

[ascl:1109.016] aXe: Spectral Extraction and Visualization Software

aXe is a spectroscopic data extraction software package that was designed to handle large format spectroscopic slitless images such as those from the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on HST. aXe is a PyRAF/IRAF package that consists of several tasks and is distributed as part of the Space Telescope Data Analysis System (STSDAS). The various aXe tasks perform specific parts of the extraction and calibration process and are successively used to produce extracted spectra.

[ascl:1109.017] IRDR: InfraRed Data Reduction

We describe the InfraRed Data Reduction (IRDR) software package, a small ANSI C library of fast image processing routines for automated pipeline reduction of infrared (dithered) observations. We developed the software to satisfy certain design requirements not met in existing packages (e.g., full weight map handling) and to optimize the software for large data sets (non-interactive tasks that are CPU and disk efficient). The software includes stand-alone C programs for tasks such as running sky frame subtraction with object masking, image registration and coaddition with weight maps, dither offset measurement using cross-correlation, and object mask dilation. Although we currently use the software to process data taken with CIRSI (a near-IR mosaic imager), the software is modular and concise and should be easy to adapt/reuse for other work.

[ascl:1109.018] GIPSY: Groningen Image Processing System

GIPSY is an acronym of Groningen Image Processing SYstem. It is a highly interactive software system for the reduction and display of astronomical data. It supports multi-tasking using a versatile user interface, it has an advanced data structure, a powerful script language and good display facilities based on the X Window system.

GIPSY consists of a number of components which can be divided into a number of classes:

  • The user interfaces. Currently two user interfaces are available; one for interactive work and one for batch processing.
  • The data structure.
  • The display utilities.
  • The application programs. These are the majority of programs.
GIPSY was designed originally for the reduction of interferometric data from the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, but in its history of more than 20 years it has grown to a system capable of handling data from many different instruments (e.g. TAURUS, IRAS etc.).

[ascl:1109.019] SkyCat: Visualization and Catalog and Data Access Tool

SkyCat is a tool that combines visualization of images and access to catalogs and archive data for astronomy. The tool, developed in Tcl/Tk, was originally conceived as a demo of the capabilities of the class library that was developed for the VLT. The Skycat sources currently consist of five packages:

  • Tclutil - Generic Tcl and C++ utilities
  • Astrotcl - Astronomical Tcl and C++ utilities
  • RTD - Real-time Display classes and widgets
  • Catlib - Catalog library and widgets
  • Skycat - Skycat application and library package
All of the required packages are always included in the tarfile.

[ascl:1109.020] CMFGEN: Probing the Universe through Spectroscopy

A radiative transfer code designed to solve the radiative transfer and statistical equilibrium equations in spherical geometry. It has been designed for application to W-R stars, O stars, and Luminous Blue-Variables. CMFGEN allows fundamental parameters such as effective temperatures, stellar radii and stellar luminosities to be determined. It can provide constraints on mass-loss rates, and allow abundance determinations for a wide range of atomic species. Further it can provide accurate energy distributions, and hence ionizing fluxes, which can be used as input for codes which model the spectra of HII regions and ring nebular.

[ascl:1109.021] TLUSTY: Stellar Atmospheres, Accretion Disks, and Spectroscopic Diagnostics

TLUSTY is a user-oriented package written in FORTRAN77 for modeling stellar atmospheres and accretion disks and wide range of spectroscopic diagnostics. In the program's maximum configuration, the user may start from scratch and calculate a model atmosphere of a chosen degree of complexity, and end with a synthetic spectrum in a wavelength region of interest for an arbitrary stellar rotation and an arbitrary instrumental profile. The user may also model the vertical structure of annuli of an accretion disk.

[ascl:1109.022] Synspec: General Spectrum Synthesis Program

Synspec is a user-oriented package written in FORTRAN for modeling stellar atmospheres and for stellar spectroscopic diagnostics. It assumes an existing model atmosphere, calculated previously with Tlusty or taken from the literature (for instance, from the Kurucz grid of models). The opacity sources (continua, atomic and molecular lines) are fully specified by the user. An arbitrary stellar rotation and instrumental profile can be applied to the synthetic spectrum.

[ascl:1109.023] MOKA: A New Tool for Strong Lensing Studies

MOKA simulates the gravitational lensing signal from cluster-sized haloes. This algorithm implements recent results from numerical simulations to create realistic lenses with properties independent of numerical resolution and can be used for studies of the strong lensing cross section in dependence of halo structure.

[ascl:1109.024] Jupiter: Multidimensional Astrophysical Hydrocode

Jupiter is a multidimensional astrophysical hydrocode. It is based on a Godunov method, and it is parallelized with MPI. The mesh geometry can either be cartesian, cylindrical or spherical. It allows mesh refinement and includes special features adapted to the description of planets embedded in disks and nearly steady states.

[ascl:1110.001] analytic_infall: A Molecular Line Infall Fitting Program

This code contains several simple radiative transfer models used for fitting the blue-asymmetric spectral line signature often found in infalling molecular cloud cores. It attempts to provide a direct measure of several physical parameters of the infalling core, including infall velocity, excitation temperature, and line of site optical depth. The code includes 6 radiative transfer models, however the conclusion of the associated paper is that the 5 parameter "hill" model (hill5) is most likely the best match to the physical excitation conditions of real infalling Bonnor-Ebert type clouds.

[ascl:1110.002] DarkSUSY: Supersymmetric Dark Matter Calculations

DarkSUSY, written in Fortran, is a publicly-available advanced numerical package for neutralino dark matter calculations. In DarkSUSY one can compute the neutralino density in the Universe today using precision methods which include resonances, pair production thresholds and coannihilations. Masses and mixings of supersymmetric particles can be computed within DarkSUSY or with the help of external programs such as FeynHiggs, ISASUGRA and SUSPECT. Accelerator bounds can be checked to identify viable dark matter candidates. DarkSUSY also computes a large variety of astrophysical signals from neutralino dark matter, such as direct detection in low-background counting experiments and indirect detection through antiprotons, antideuterons, gamma-rays and positrons from the Galactic halo or high-energy neutrinos from the center of the Earth or of the Sun.

[ascl:1110.003] iGalFit: An Interactive Tool for GalFit

We present a suite of IDL routines to interactively run GALFIT whereby the various surface brightness profiles (and their associated parameters) are represented by regions, which the User is expected to place. The regions may be saved and/or loaded from the ASCII format used by ds9 or in the Hierarchical Data Format (version 5). The software has been tested to run stably on Mac OS X and Linux with IDL 7.0.4. In addition to its primary purpose of modeling galaxy images with GALFIT, this package has several ancillary uses, including a flexible image display routines, several basic photometry functions, and qualitatively assessing Source Extractor. We distribute the package freely and without any implicit or explicit warranties, guarantees, or assurance of any kind. We kindly ask users to report any bugs, errors, or suggestions to us directly (as opposed to fixing them themselves) to ensure version control and uniformity.

[ascl:1110.004] SHTOOLS: Tools for Working with Spherical Harmonics

SHTOOLS is an archive of fortran 95 based software that can be used to perform (among others) spherical harmonic transforms and reconstructions, rotations of spherical harmonic coefficients, and multitaper spectral analyses on the sphere. The package accommodates any standard normalization of the spherical harmonic functions ("geodesy" 4π normalized, Schmidt semi-normalized, orthonormalized, and unnormalized), and either real or complex spherical harmonics can be employed. Spherical harmonic transforms are calculated by exact quadrature rules using either (1) the sampling theorem of Driscoll and Healy (1994) where data are equally sampled (or spaced) in latitude and longitude, or (2) Gauss-Legendre quadrature. A least squares inversion routine for irregularly sampled data is included as well. The Condon-Shortley phase factor of (-1)m can be used or excluded with the associated Legendre functions. The spherical harmonic transforms are accurate to approximately degree 2800, corresponding to a spatial resolution of better than 4 arc minutes. Routines are included for performing localized multitaper spectral analyses and standard gravity calculations, such as computation of the geoid, and the determination of the potential associated with finite-amplitude topography. The routines are fast. Spherical harmonic transforms and reconstructions take on the order of 1 second for bandwidths less than 600 and about 3 minutes for bandwidths close to 2800.

[ascl:1110.005] ZEBRA: Zurich Extragalactic Bayesian Redshift Analyzer

The current version of the Zurich Extragalactic Bayesian Redshift Analyzer (ZEBRA) combines and extends several of the classical approaches to produce accurate photometric redshifts down to faint magnitudes. In particular, ZEBRA uses the template-fitting approach to produce Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian redshift estimates based on: (1.) An automatic iterative technique to correct the original set of galaxy templates to best represent the SEDs of real galaxies at different redshifts; (2.) A training set of spectroscopic redshifts for a small fraction of the photometric sample; and (3.) An iterative technique for Bayesian redshift estimates, which extracts the full two-dimensional redshift and template probability function for each galaxy.

[ascl:1110.006] STIFF: Converting Scientific FITS Images to TIFF

STIFF is a program that converts scientific FITS1 images to the more popular TIFF2 format for illustration purposes. Most FITS readers and converters do not do a proper job at converting FITS image data to 8 bits. 8-bit images stored in JPEG, PNG or TIFF files have the intensities implicitely stored in a non-linear way. Most current FITS image viewers and converters provide the user an incorrect translation of the FITS image content by simply rescaling linearly input pixel values. A first consequence is that the people working on astronomical images usually have to apply narrow intensity cuts or square-root or logarithmic intensity transformations to actually see something on their deep-sky images. A less obvious consequence is that colors obtained by combining images processed this way are not consistent across such a large range of surface brightnesses. Though with other software the user is generally afforded a choice of nonlinear transformations to apply in order to make the faint stuff stand out more clearly in the images, with the limited selection of choices provides, colors will not be accurately rendered, and some manual tweaking will be necessary. The purpose of STIFF is to produce beautiful pictures in an automatic and consistent way.

[ascl:1110.007] GammaLib: Toolbox for High-level Analysis of Astronomical Gamma-ray Data

The GammaLib is a versatile toolbox for the high-level analysis of astronomical gamma-ray data. It is implemented as a C++ library that is fully scriptable in the Python scripting language. The library provides core functionalities such as data input and output, interfaces for parameter specifications, and a reporting and logging interface. It implements instruments specific functionalities such as instrument response functions and data formats. Instrument specific functionalities share a common interface to allow for extension of the GammaLib to include new gamma-ray instruments. The GammaLib provides an abstract data analysis framework that enables simultaneous multi-mission analysis.

[ascl:1110.008] Glnemo2: Interactive Visualization 3D Program

Glnemo2 is an interactive 3D visualization program developed in C++ using the OpenGL library and Nokia QT 4.X API. It displays in 3D the particles positions of the different components of an nbody snapshot. It quickly gives a lot of information about the data (shape, density area, formation of structures such as spirals, bars, or peanuts). It allows for in/out zooms, rotations, changes of scale, translations, selection of different groups of particles and plots in different blending colors. It can color particles according to their density or temperature, play with the density threshold, trace orbits, display different time steps, take automatic screenshots to make movies, select particles using the mouse, and fly over a simulation using a given camera path. All these features are accessible from a very intuitive graphic user interface.

Glnemo2 supports a wide range of input file formats (Nemo, Gadget 1 and 2, phiGrape, Ramses, list of files, realtime gyrfalcON simulation) which are automatically detected at loading time without user intervention. Glnemo2 uses a plugin mechanism to load the data, so that it is easy to add a new file reader. It's powered by a 3D engine which uses the latest OpenGL technology, such as shaders (glsl), vertex buffer object, frame buffer object, and takes in account the power of the graphic card used in order to accelerate the rendering. With a fast GPU, millions of particles can be rendered in real time. Glnemo2 runs on Linux, Windows (using minGW compiler), and MaxOSX, thanks to the QT4API.

[ascl:1110.009] AAOGlimpse: Three-dimensional Data Viewer

AAOGlimpse is an experimental display program that uses OpenGL to display FITS data (and even JPEG images) as 3D surfaces that can be rotated and viewed from different angles, all in real-time. It is WCS-compliant and designed to handle three-dimensional data. Each plane in a data cube is surfaced in the same way, and the program allows the user to travel through a cube by 'peeling off' successive planes, or to look into a cube by suppressing the display of data below a given cutoff value. It can blink images and can superimpose images and contour maps from different sources using their world coordinate data. A limited socket interface allows communication with other programs.

[ascl:1110.010] MOCASSIN: MOnte CArlo SimulationS of Ionized Nebulae

MOCASSIN is a fully 3D or 2D photoionisation and dust radiative transfer code which employs a Monte Carlo approach to the transfer of radiation through media of arbitrary geometry and density distribution. Written in Fortran, it was originally developed for the modelling of photoionised regions like HII regions and planetary nebulae and has since expanded and been applied to a variety of astrophysical problems, including modelling clumpy dusty supernova envelopes, star forming galaxies, protoplanetary disks and inner shell fluorence emission in the photospheres of stars and disk atmospheres. The code can deal with arbitrary Cartesian grids of variable resolution, it has successfully been used to model complex density fields from SPH calculations and can deal with ionising radiation extending from Lyman edge to the X-ray. The dust and gas microphysics is fully coupled both in the radiation transfer and in the thermal balance.

[ascl:1110.011] Pacerman: Polarisation Angle CorrEcting Rotation Measure ANalysis

Pacerman, written in IDL, is a new method to calculate Faraday rotation measure maps from multi-frequency polarisation angle data. In order to solve the so called n-pi-ambiguity problem which arises from the observationally ambiguity of the polarisation angle which is only determined up to additions of n times pi, where n is an integer, we suggest using a global scheme. Instead of solving the n-pi-ambiguity for each data point independently, our algorithm, which we chose to call Pacerman solves the n-pi-ambiguity for a high signal-to-noise region "democratically" and uses this information to assist computations in adjacent low signal-to-noise areas.

[ascl:1110.012] Starlink: Multi-purpose Astronomy Software

Starlink has many applications within it to meet a variety of needs; it includes:

  • a general astronomical image viewer;
  • data reduction tools, including programs for reducing CCD-like data;
  • general-purpose data-analysis and visualisation tools;
  • image processing, data visualisation, and manipulating NDF components;
  • a flexible and powerful library for handling World Coordinate Systems (partly based on the SLALIB library);
  • a library of routines intended to make accurate and reliable positional-astronomy applications easier to write; and
  • and a Hierarchical Data System that is portable and flexible for storing and retrieving data.

[ascl:1110.013] S2HAT: Scalable Spherical Harmonic Transform Library

Many problems in astronomy and astrophysics require a computation of the spherical harmonic transforms. This is in particular the case whenever data to be analyzed are distributed over the sphere or a set of corresponding mock data sets has to be generated. In many of those contexts, rapidly improving resolutions of both the data and simulations puts increasingly bigger emphasis on our ability to calculate the transforms quickly and reliably.

The scalable spherical harmonic transform library S2HAT consists of a set of flexible, massively parallel, and scalable routines for calculating diverse (scalar, spin-weighted, etc) spherical harmonic transforms for a class of isolatitude sky grids or pixelizations. The library routines implement the standard algorithm with the complexity of O(n^3/2), where n is a number of pixels/grid points on the sphere, however, owing to their efficient parallelization and advanced numerical implementation, they achieve very competitive performance and near perfect scalability. S2HAT is written in Fortran 90 with a C interface. This software is a derivative of the spherical harmonic transforms included in the HEALPix package and is based on both serial and MPI routines of its version 2.01, however, since version 2.5 this software is fully autonomous of HEALPix and can be compiled and run without the HEALPix library.

[ascl:1110.014] pureS2HAT: S 2HAT-based Pure E/B Harmonic Transforms

The pS2HAT routines allow efficient, parallel calculation of the so-called 'pure' polarized multipoles. The computed multipole coefficients are equal to the standard pseudo-multipoles calculated for the apodized sky maps of the Stokes parameters Q and U subsequently corrected by so-called counterterms. If the applied apodizations fullfill certain boundary conditions, these multipoles correspond to the pure multipoles. Pure multipoles of one type, i.e., either E or B, are ensured not to contain contributions from the other one, at least to within numerical artifacts. They can be therefore further used in the estimation of the sky power spectra via the pseudo power spectrum technique, which has to however correctly account for the applied apodization on the one hand, and the presence of the counterterms, on the other.

In addition, the package contains the routines permitting calculation of the spin-weighted apodizations, given an input scalar, i.e., spin-0 window. The former are needed to compute the counterterms. It also provides routines for maps and window manipulations. The routines are written in C and based on the S2HAT library, which is used to perform all required spherical harmonic transforms as well as all inter-processor communication. They are therefore parallelized using MPI and follow the distributed-memory computational model. The data distribution patterns, pixelization choices, conventions etc are all as those assumed/allowed by the S2HAT library.

[ascl:1110.015] atlant: Advanced Three Level Approximation for Numerical Treatment of Cosmological Recombination

atlant is a public numerical code for fast calculations of cosmological recombination of primordial hydrogen-helium plasma is presented. This code is based on the three-level approximation (TLA) model of recombination and allows us to take into account some "fine'' physical effects of cosmological recombination simultaneously with using fudge factors.

[ascl:1110.016] REBOUND: Multi-purpose N-body code for collisional dynamics

REBOUND is a multi-purpose N-body code which is freely available under an open-source license. It was designed for collisional dynamics such as planetary rings but can also solve the classical N-body problem. It is highly modular and can be customized easily to work on a wide variety of different problems in astrophysics and beyond.

REBOUND comes with three symplectic integrators: leap-frog, the symplectic epicycle integrator (SEI) and a Wisdom-Holman mapping (WH). It supports open, periodic and shearing-sheet boundary conditions. REBOUND can use a Barnes-Hut tree to calculate both self-gravity and collisions. These modules are fully parallelized with MPI as well as OpenMP. The former makes use of a static domain decomposition and a distributed essential tree. Two new collision detection modules based on a plane-sweep algorithm are also implemented. The performance of the plane-sweep algorithm is superior to a tree code for simulations in which one dimension is much longer than the other two and in simulations which are quasi-two dimensional with less than one million particles.

[ascl:1110.017] POWMES: Measuring the Power Spectrum in an N-body Simulation

POWMES is a F90 program to measure very accurately the power spectrum in a N-body simulation, using Taylor expansion of some order on the cosine and sine transforms. It can read GADGET format and requires FFTW2 to be installed.

[ascl:1110.018] MADmap: Fast Parallel Maximum Likelihood CMB Map Making Code

MADmap produces maximum-likelihood images of the sky from time-ordered data which include correlated noise, such as those gathered by Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiments. It works efficiently on platforms ranging from small workstations to the most massively parallel supercomputers. Map-making is a critical step in the analysis of all CMB data sets, and the maximum-likelihood approach is the most accurate and widely applicable algorithm; however, it is a computationally challenging task. This challenge will only increase with the next generation of ground-based, balloon-borne and satellite CMB polarization experiments. The faintness of the B-mode signal that these experiments seek to measure requires them to gather enormous data sets. MADmap has the ability to address problems typically encountered in the analysis of realistic CMB data sets. The massively parallel and distributed implementation is detailed and scaling complexities are given for the resources required. MADmap is capable of analyzing the largest data sets now being collected on computing resources currently available.

[ascl:1110.019] CosmoNest: Cosmological Nested Sampling

CosmoNest is an algorithm for cosmological model selection. Given a model, defined by a set of parameters to be varied and their prior ranges, and data, the algorithm computes the evidence (the marginalized likelihood of the model in light of the data). The Bayes factor, which is proportional to the relative evidence of two models, can then be used for model comparison, i.e. to decide whether a model is an adequate description of data, or whether the data require a more complex model.

For convenience, CosmoNest, programmed in Fortran, is presented here as an optional add-on to CosmoMC (ascl:1106.025), which is widely used by the cosmological community to perform parameter fitting within a model using a Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) engine. For this reason it can be run very easily by anyone who is able to compile and run CosmoMC. CosmoNest implements a different sampling strategy, geared for computing the evidence very accurately and efficiently. It also provides posteriors for parameter fitting as a by-product.

[ascl:1110.020] CROSS_CMBFAST: ISW-correlation Code

This code is an extension of CMBFAST4.5.1 to compute the ISW-correlation power spectrum and the 2-point angular ISW-correlation function for a given galaxy window function. It includes dark energy models specified by a constant equation of state (w) or a linear parameterization in the scale factor (w0,wa) and a constant sound speed (c2de). The ISW computation is limited to flat geometry. Differently from the original CMBFAST4.5 version dark energy perturbations are implemented for a general dark energy fluid specified by w(z) and c2de in synchronous gauge. For time varying dark energy models it is suggested not to cross the w=-1 line, as Dr. Wenkman says: "never cross the streams", bad things can happen.

[ascl:1110.021] Univiewer: Visualisation Program for HEALPix Maps

Univiewer is a visualisation program for HEALPix maps. It is written in C++ and uses OpenGL and the wxWidgets library for cross-platform portability. Using it you can:

  • Rotate and zoom maps on the sphere in 3D;
  • Create high-resolution views of square patches of the map;
  • Change maximum and minimum values of the colourmap interactively;
  • Calculate the power spectrum of the full-sky map or a patch;
  • Display any column of a HEALPix map FITS file on the sphere.
Since Univiewer uses OpenGL for 3D graphics, its performance is dependent your video card. It has been tested successfully on computers with as little as 8Mb video memory, but it is recommended to have at least 32Mb to get good performance.

In the 3D view, a HEALPix map is projected onto a ECP pixelation to create a texture which is wrapped around the sphere. In calculating the power spectrum, the spherical harmonic transforms are computed using the same ECP pixelation. This inevitably leads to some discrepancies at small scales due to repixelation effects, but they are reasonably small.

[ascl:1110.022] simple_cosfitter: Supernova-centric Cosmological Fitter

This is an implementation of a fairly simple-minded luminosity distance fitter, intended for use with supernova data. The calculational technique is based on evaluating the $chi^2$ of the model fit on a grid and marginalization over various nuisance parameters. Of course, the nature of these things is that this code has gotten steadily more complex, so perhaps the simple moniker is no longer justified.

[ascl:1110.023] SiFTO: An Empirical Method for Fitting SN Ia Light Curves

SiFTO is an empirical method for modeling Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) light curves by manipulating a spectral template. We make use of high-redshift SN data when training the model, allowing us to extend it bluer than rest-frame U. This increases the utility of our high-redshift SN observations by allowing us to use more of the available data. We find that when the shape of the light curve is described using a stretch prescription, applying the same stretch at all wavelengths is not an adequate description. SiFTO therefore uses a generalization of stretch which applies different stretch factors as a function of both the wavelength of the observed filter and the stretch in the rest-frame B band. SiFTO has been compared to other published light-curve models by applying them to the same set of SN photometry, and it's been demonstrated that SiFTO and SALT2 perform better than the alternatives when judged by the scatter around the best-fit luminosity distance relationship. When SiFTO and SALT2 are trained on the same data set the cosmological results agree.

[ascl:1110.024] CosmoMC SNLS: CosmoMC Plug-in to Analyze SNLS3 SN Data

This module is a plug-in for CosmoMC and requires that software. Though programmed to analyze SNLS3 SN data, it can also be used for other SN data provided the inputs are put in the right form. In fact, this is probably a good idea, since the default treatment that comes with CosmoMC is flawed. Note that this requires fitting two additional SN nuisance parameters (alpha and beta), but this is significantly faster than attempting to marginalize over them internally.

[ascl:1110.025] MIS: A Miriad Interferometry Singledish Toolkit

MIS is a pipeline toolkit using the package MIRIAD to combine Interferometric and Single Dish data. This was prompted by our observations made with the Combined Array For Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) interferometer of the star-forming region NGC 1333, a large survey highlighting the new 23-element and singledish observing modes. The project consists of 20 CARMA datasets each containing interferometric as well as simultaneously obtained single dish data, for 3 molecular spectral lines and continuum, in 527 different pointings, covering an area of about 8 by 11 arcminutes. A small group of collaborators then shared this toolkit and their parameters via CVS, and scripts were developed to ensure uniform data reduction across the group. The pipeline was run end-to-end each night that new observations were obtained, producing maps that contained all the data to date. This approach could serve as a model for repeated calibration and mapping of large mixed-mode correlation datasets from ALMA.

[ascl:1111.001] HIPE: Herschel Interactive Processing Environment

The Herschel Space Observatory is the fourth cornerstone mission in the ESA science programme and performs photometry and spectroscopy in the 55 - 672 micron range. The development of the Herschel Data Processing System started in 2002 to support the data analysis for Instrument Level Tests. The Herschel Data Processing System was used for the pre-flight characterisation of the instruments, and during various ground segment test campaigns. Following the successful launch of Herschel 14th of May 2009 the Herschel Data Processing System demonstrated its maturity when the first PACS preview observation of M51 was processed within 30 minutes of reception of the first science data after launch. Also the first HIFI observations on DR21 were successfully reduced to high quality spectra, followed by SPIRE observations on M66 and M74. A fast turn-around cycle between data retrieval and the production of science-ready products was demonstrated during the Herschel Science Demonstration Phase Initial Results Workshop held 7 months after launch, which is a clear proof that the system has reached a good level of maturity.

[ascl:1111.002] CRBLASTER: A Parallel-Processing Computational Framework for Embarrassingly-Parallel Image-Analysis Algorithms

The development of parallel-processing image-analysis codes is generally a challenging task that requires complicated choreography of interprocessor communications. If, however, the image-analysis algorithm is embarrassingly parallel, then the development of a parallel-processing implementation of that algorithm can be a much easier task to accomplish because, by definition, there is little need for communication between the compute processes. I describe the design, implementation, and performance of a parallel-processing image-analysis application, called CRBLASTER, which does cosmic-ray rejection of CCD (charge-coupled device) images using the embarrassingly-parallel L.A.COSMIC algorithm. CRBLASTER is written in C using the high-performance computing industry standard Message Passing Interface (MPI) library. The code has been designed to be used by research scientists who are familiar with C as a parallel-processing computational framework that enables the easy development of parallel-processing image-analysis programs based on embarrassingly-parallel algorithms. The CRBLASTER source code is freely available at the official application website at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Removing cosmic rays from a single 800x800 pixel Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 image takes 44 seconds with the IRAF script lacos_im.cl running on a single core of an Apple Mac Pro computer with two 2.8-GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processors. CRBLASTER is 7.4 times faster processing the same image on a single core on the same machine. Processing the same image with CRBLASTER simultaneously on all 8 cores of the same machine takes 0.875 seconds -- which is a speedup factor of 50.3 times faster than the IRAF script. A detailed analysis is presented of the performance of CRBLASTER using between 1 and 57 processors on a low-power Tilera 700-MHz 64-core TILE64 processor.

[ascl:1111.003] Saada: A Generator of Astronomical Database

Saada transforms a set of heterogeneous FITS files or VOtables of various categories (images, tables, spectra, etc.) in a powerful database deployed on the Web. Databases are located on your host and stay independent of any external server. This job doesn’t require writing code. Saada can mix data of various categories in multiple collections. Data collections can be linked each to others making relevant browsing paths and allowing data-mining oriented queries. Saada supports 4 VO services (Spectra, images, sources and TAP) . Data collections can be published immediately after the deployment of the Web interface.

[ascl:1111.004] CIGALE: Code Investigating GALaxy Emission

The CIGALE code has been developed to study the evolution of galaxies by comparing modelled galaxy spectral energy distributions (SEDs) to observed ones from the far ultraviolet to the far infrared. It extends the SED fitting algorithm written by Burgarella et al. (2005, MNRAS 360, 1411). While the previous code was designed to fit SEDs in the optical and near infrared, CIGALE is able to fit SEDs up to the far infrared using Dale & Helou (2002, ApJ 576, 159). CIGALE Bayesian and CIGALE Monte Carlo Markov Chain are available.

[ascl:1111.005] SPECTCOL: Spectroscopic and Collisional Data Retrieval

Studies of astrophysical non-LTE media require the combination of atomic and molecular spectroscopic and collisional data often described differently in various databases. SPECTCOL is a tool that implements VAMDC standards, retrieve relevant information from different databases such as CDMS, HITRAN, BASECOL, and can upload local files. All transfer of data between the client and the databases use the VAMDC-XSAMS schema. The spectroscopic and collisional information is combined and useful outputs (ascii or xsams) are provided for the study of the interstellar medium.

[ascl:1111.006] MOPEX: MOsaicker and Point source EXtractor

MOPEX (MOsaicker and Point source EXtractor) is a package for reducing and analyzing imaging data, as well as MIPS SED data. MOPEX includes the point source extraction package, APEX.
MOPEX is designed to allow the user to:

  • perform sophisticated background matching of individual data frames
  • mosaic the individual frames downloaded from the Spitzer archive
  • perform both temporal and spatial outlier rejection during mosaicking
  • apply offline pointing refinement for MIPS data (refinement is already applied to IRAC data)
  • perform source detection on the mosaics using APEX
  • compute aperture photometry or PRF-fitting photometry for point sources
  • perform interpolation, coaddition, and spectrum extraction of MIPS SED images.
MOPEX comes in two different interfaces (GUI and command-line), both of which come packaged together. We recommend that all new users start with the GUI, which is more user-friendly than the command-line interface

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