Letter to the Editor
Exploring galaxy evolution with generative models
Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
2 Systems Group, Department of Computer Science, ETH Zurich, Universitätstrasse 6, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland
Accepted: 6 August 2018
Context. Generative models open up the possibility to interrogate scientific data in a more data-driven way.
Aims. We propose a method that uses generative models to explore hypotheses in astrophysics and other areas. We use a neural network to show how we can independently manipulate physical attributes by encoding objects in latent space.
Methods. By learning a latent space representation of the data, we can use this network to forward model and explore hypotheses in a data-driven way. We train a neural network to generate artificial data to test hypotheses for the underlying physical processes.
Results. We demonstrate this process using a well-studied process in astrophysics, the quenching of star formation in galaxies as they move from low-to high-density environments. This approach can help explore astrophysical and other phenomena in a way that is different from current methods based on simulations and observations.
Key words: methods: data analysis / methods: statistical / galaxies: evolution
© ESO 2018