An Unsupervised Machine Learning Analysis of the FIRST Radio Sources

  • David BastienEmail author
  • Radhakhrishna Somanah
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 863)


The large availability of radio sources from the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty cm (FIRST) has inspired us to use unsupervised Machine Learning (ML) to do a morphological segmentation of 1000 radio sources. Through techniques like shapelets decomposition, we were able to decompose each radio sources into a series of 256 coefficients that were input into unsupervised ML techniques like Isometric Mapping (ISOMAP) for dimensionality reduction and density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (DBSCAN) as clustering algorithm. Through this process we were able to identify four groups of sources and 189 outliers. After comparing the segmentation results with our human classification, we found that the method achieved an accuracy of 0.83, with an \(F_1\) score of 0.87. Showing that unsupervised ML could be used to classify images in the radio astronomy domain.


Unsupervised machine learning Isomap DBSCAN Radio astronomy Shapelets analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hydrus Labs LtdRoches Brunes, Rose HillMauritius
  2. 2.Universite des MascareignesRoche Brunes, Rose HillMauritius
  3. 3.University of MauritiusReduitMauritius

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