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PHAT workshop at NASA-JPL, Pasadena, Dec 3-5, 2008


Three days of very interesting talks about photometric redshifts triggered a lot of discussions. In particular the future of PHAT was debated and the following consensus was reached among the workshop participants:

  • The users should converge on a common data format. It was regarded as especially important to agree on reasonable errors to be assigned to the photo-z's used in PHAT. 68% and 95% confidence intervals were suggested as the most meaningful quantities to condense the information from the full PDF to a few numbers. Filipe Abdalla will lead a discussion on the details of how to define these exactly.

  • The photo-z's from the PHAT testing steps should be compared to each other and not only to the spectroscopic/model redshifts.

  • The PHAT Phase0Testing should be complemented by a similar run which is not based on the same code. Peter Capak will set up another very simple simulation with his code to get an independent reference. Alternatively it was suggested not to rely on a particular code at all and create an "analytic simulation" with top-hat-filters and step-function- or saw-tooth-templates.

  • The GoodsNorth results from the second PHAT testing step were discussed in detail. The big differences in photo-z accuracy between the different codes were mostly assigned to differences in the template sets on the one hand or on the chosen machine-learning approach on the other hand. It was agreed upon that the GOODS test should be re-run another time with a common template set to disentangle possible code-related effects.

-- HendrikHildebrandt - 15 Dec 2008

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