Cosmic web reconstruction through density ridges: method and algorithm
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 galaxy data. 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 <10−9) to SCMS-detected filaments than to randomly selected galaxies.