The ability to automatically and robustly self-verify periodicity present in time-series astronomical data is becoming more important as data sets rapidly increase in size. The age of large astronomical surveys has rendered manual inspection of time-series data less practical. Previous efforts in generating a false alarm probability to verify the periodicity of stars have been aimed towards the analysis of a constructed periodogram. However, these methods feature correlations with features that do not pertain to periodicity, such as light-curve shape, slow trends, and stochastic variability. The common assumption that photometric errors are Gaussian and well determined is also a limitation of analytic methods. We present a novel machine learning based technique which directly analyses the phase-folded light curve for its false alarm probability. We show that the results of this method are largely insensitive to the shape of the light curve, and we establish minimum values for the number of data points and the amplitude to noise ratio.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberrzae015
Pages (from-to)224-233
Number of pages10
JournalRAS Techniques and Instruments
Issue number1
Early online date23 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2024


  • Variable Stars
  • Data Methods
  • Algorithms
  • Light curves
  • Machine Learning
  • Numerical Methods


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