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Felix: A Topology Based Framework for Visual Exploration of Cosmic Filaments
Nithin Shivshankar, Pratyush Pranav, Vijay Natarajan, Rien van de Weygaert, E. G. Patrick Bos, Steven Rieder
The large-scale structure of the universe is comprised of virialized blob-like clusters, linear filaments, sheet-like walls and huge near empty three-dimensional voids. Characterizing the large scale universe is essential to our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies. The density range of clusters, walls and voids are relatively well separated, when compared to filaments, which span a relatively larger range. The large scale filamentary network thus forms an intricate part of the cosmic web. In this paper, we describe Felix, a topology based framework for visual exploration of filaments in the cosmic web. The filamentary structure is represented by the ascending manifold geometry of the 2-saddles in the Morse-Smale complex of the density field. We generate a hierarchy of Morse-Smale complexes and query for filaments based on the density ranges at the end points of the filaments. The query is processed efficiently over the entire hierarchical Morse-Smale complex, allowing for interactive visualization. We apply Felix to computer simulations based on the heuristic Voronoi kinematic model and the standard \$\Lambda\$CDM cosmology, and demonstrate its usefulness through two case studies. First, we extract cosmic filaments within and across cluster like regions in Voronoi kinematic simulation datasets. We demonstrate that we produce similar results to existing structure finders. Filaments that form the spine of the cosmic web, which exist in high density regions in the current epoch, are isolated using Felix. Also, filaments present in void-like regions are isolated and visualized. These filamentary structures are often over shadowed by higher density range filaments and are not easily characterizable and extractable using other filament extraction methodologies.
Cosmic Web Reconstruction Through Density Ridges: Method and Algorithm
Yen-Chi Chen, Shirley Ho, Peter E. Freeman, Christopher R. Genovese, Larry Wasserman
The detection and characterization of filamentary structures in the cosmic web allows cosmologists to constrain parameters that dictate the evolution of the Universe. While many filament estimators have been proposed, they generally lack estimates of uncertainty, reducing their inferential power. In this paper, we demonstrate how one may apply the subspace constrained mean shift (SCMS) algorithm (Ozertem & Erdogmus 2011; Genovese et al. 2014) to uncover filamentary structure in galaxydata. The SCMS algorithm is a gradient ascent method that models filaments as density ridges, one-dimensional smooth curves that trace high-density regions within the point cloud. We also demonstrate how augmenting the SCMS algorithm with bootstrap-based methods of uncertainty estimation allows one to place uncertainty bands around putative filaments. We apply the SCMS first to the data set generated from the Voronoi model. The density ridges show strong agreement with the filaments from Voronoi method. We then apply the SCMS method data sets sampled from a P3M N-body simulation, with galaxy number densities consistent with SDSS and WFIRST-AFTA, and to LOWZ and CMASS data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). To further assess the efficacy of SCMS, we compare the relative locations of BOSS filaments with galaxy clusters in the redMaPPer catalogue, and find that redMaPPer clusters are significantly closer (with p-values \textless10−9) to SCMS-detected filaments than to randomly selected galaxies.