Recent AstroStatistics Papers

by Jessica Lu on December 27, 2010

For many astronomers, statistics is an integral part of our analysis procedure; yet, we typically get very little formal training in this area. Recently, several astro-statistics papers have been posted on astro-ph that specifically address some of the unique attributes of astronomical data (small numbers of data points, frequent systematic errors or outliers, non-linear models, heteroskedastic error bars and limits, etc.). I would like to round up these and other similar astro-stats papers and post them as a collection on the wiki. Do you know of additional astro-stats papers to include in this collection?

Note: There are some excellent books for purchase on astro-statistics; but here I am collecting papers that are available via astro-ph or in journals that most institutions have access to.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roban Kramer December 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

On the Estimation of Confidence Intervals for Binomial Population Proportions in Astronomy, Cameron (arXiv:1012.0566)
–The correct way to determine confidence intervals for population proportions using the beta distribution. Relevant when you want to measure the fraction of a population falling into a given category.


2 Matt Hayes December 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

The classic for survival analysis, regression etc with upper/lower limits, is Isobe+(1986, ApJ, 306, 490I) Statistical methods for astronomical data with upper limits. II – Correlation and regression. It’s worth making a note of.


3 Brian June 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Here is a textbook that focuses heavily on censored data (both left, right, and interval). However, the applications are primarily estimation of lifetime distribution for items, I do feel that the presentation is general enough to be applied to other situations. There are also simple, graphical methods for assessing distributional fits using Kaplan and Meier estimates.

4 Ben December 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm…665.1489K , B. Kelly, “Some Aspects of Measurement Error in Linear Regression of Astronomical Data”

How to fit a straight line to data when there are errors on both axes and there is intrinsic scatter in the relationship – which is practically always.

Don’t let me catch you using bisector fitting to anything important, especially if there is a selection limit on one of the coordinates.


5 Ben December 28, 2010 at 9:05 pm

By the way, a lot of people cite and use Isobe et al 1990,…364..104I , “Linear regression in astronomy.” But it’s my opinion that the recommendations of that paper are seriously flawed in practice. The flaw will only be significant sometimes (when you have data with a lot of scatter and a selection limit) but that’s exactly when you should care about the fitting method. If you have enough data to make a rock solid measurement the details of choosing a fitting method are less important.


6 Shantanu January 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Would also like to add


7 pds December 1, 2011 at 2:42 am

hi~ 🙂 how about this one?


{ 3 trackbacks }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: