EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 477, Number 3, January III 2008
Page(s) 967 - 977
Section Astronomical instrumentation
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20065969

A&A 477, 967-977 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20065969

Advanced fit technique for astrophysical spectra

Approach insensitive to a large fraction of outliers
S. Bukvic1, Dj. Spasojevic1, and V. Zigman2

1  Faculty of Physics, University of Belgrade, Studentski Trg 12-16, Belgrade, Serbia
    e-mail: ebukvic@ff.bg.ac.yu
2  University of Nova Gorica, Vipavska cesta 13, Nova Gorica, Slovenia

(Received 4 July 2006 / Accepted 23 September 2007)

Aims.The purpose of this paper is to introduce a robust method of data fitting convenient for dealing with astrophysical spectra contaminated by a large fraction of outliers.
Methods.We base our approach on the suitable defined measure: the density of the least squares (DLS) that characterizes subsets of the whole data set. The best-fit parameters are obtained by the least-square method on a subset having the maximum value of DLS or, less formally, on the largest subset free of outliers.
Results.We give the FORTRAN90 source code of the subroutine that implements the DLS method. The efficiency of the DLS method is demonstrated on a few examples: estimation of continuum in the presence of spectral lines, estimation of spectral line parameters in the presence of outliers, and estimation of the thermodynamic temperature from the spectrum that is rich in spectral lines.
Conclusions.Comparison of the present results with the ones obtained with the widely used comprehensive multi-component fit yields agreement within error margins. Due to simplicity and robustness, the proposed approach could be the method of choice whenever outliers are present, or whenever unwelcome features of the spectrum are to be considered as formal outliers (e.g. spectral lines while estimating continuum).

Key words: methods: data analysis -- methods: numerical -- techniques: spectroscopic -- line: profiles

© ESO 2008