Rapid sorting of radio galaxy morphology using Haralick features

Kushatha Ntwaetsile, James E Geach

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We demonstrate the use of Haralick features for the automated classification of radio galaxies. The set of thirteen Haralick features represent an extremely compact non-parametric representation of image texture, and are calculated directly from imagery using the Grey Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM). The GLCM is an encoding of the relationship between the intensity of neighbouring pixels in an image. Using 10 000 sources detected in the first data release of the LOFAR Two-metre Sky Survey (LoTSS), we demonstrate that Haralick features are highly efficient, rotationally invariant descriptors of radio galaxy morphology. After calculating Haralick features for LoTSS sources, we employ the fast density-based hierarchical clustering algorithm hdbscan to group radio sources into a sequence of morphological classes, illustrating a simple methodology to classify and label new, unseen galaxies in large samples. By adopting a ‘soft’ clustering approach, we can assign each galaxy a probability of belonging to a given cluster, allowing for more flexibility in the selection of galaxies according to combinations of morphological characteristics and for easily identifying outliers: those objects with a low probability of belonging to any cluster in the Haralick space. Although our demonstration focuses on radio galaxies, Haralick features can be calculated for any image, making this approach also relevant to large optical imaging galaxy surveys.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3417-3425
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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