Period Estimation in Astronomical Time Series Using Slotted Correntropy

Pablo Huijse, Pablo A. Estévez, Pablo Zegers, José Príncipe, Pavlos Protopapas

In this letter, we propose a method for period estimation in light curves from periodic variable stars using correntropy. Light curves are astronomical time series of stellar brightness over time, and are characterized as being noisy and unevenly sampled. We propose to use slotted time lags in order to estimate correntropy directly from irregularly sampled time series. A new information theoretic metric is proposed for discriminating among the peaks of the correntropy spectral density. The slotted correntropy method outperformed slotted correlation, string length, VarTools (Lomb-Scargle periodogram and Analysis of Variance), and SigSpec applications on a set of light curves drawn from the MACHO survey.

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