[TDA_wg] Microlensing Data Challenge

Rob Seaman seaman at lpl.arizona.edu
Sat Feb 17 09:59:01 EST 2018

Of interest to the IAU Time Domain Working Group.


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Subject: 	Microlensing Data Challenge

From: 	Rachel Street <rstreet at lco.global>


As a member of the WFIRST Microlensing Science Investigation Team, I
recently launched a data challenge, with the goals of stimulating
research into known problems with the modeling and analysis of
timeseries data on microlensing events and of bringing more people from
diverse backgrounds into this (currently too small) field. 


Microlensing Analysis Data Challenge

The analysis and modeling of microlensing events has always been a
computationally-intensive and time-consuming task, traditionally
requiring a powerful computer cluster as well as well sampled
lightcurves. While the number of interesting events with adequate data
remained fairly low, it has been practical to perform a careful
interactive analysis of each one, often with the aid of a powerful
computer cluster. Even so, a number of challenges remain, particularly
concerning the analysis of triple lenses.

This is expected to change with next-generation surveys, especially with
the launch of WFIRST. This mission is expected to detect thousands of
microlensing events, including hundreds of planetary events. Clearly,
our analysis techniques need an upgrade to fully exploit this dataset,
and the currently-small microlensing community needs to grow.

To stimulate research in this area, we are holding a series of data
challenges, each based around the release of a large set of simulated
WFIRST lightcurves.  The first dataset was recently released, with a
submission deadline of Oct 31, 2018. 

We are particularly keen to encourage participation by people from the
astro-statistics and astro-informatics communities.  

For more information, please
visit http://microlensing-source.org/data-challenge/

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