Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robin Henderson,
Dr Irina Makarenko,
Dr Paul Bushby,
Dr Andrew Fletcher,
Professor Anvar Shukurov
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis, 2020.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
We use topological methods to investigate the small-scale variation and local spatial characteristics of the interstellar medium in three regions of the southern sky. We demonstrate that there are circumstances where topological methods can identify differences in distributions when conventional marginal or correlation analyses may not. We propose a non-parametric method for comparing two fields based on the counts of topological features and the geometry of the associated persistence diagrams. We investigate the expected distribution of topological structures quantified through Betti numbers under Gaussian random field assumptions, which underlie many astrophysical models of the interstellar medium. When we apply the methods to the astrophysical data, we find strong evidence that one of the three regions is both topologically dissimilar to the other two and not consistent with an underlying Gaussian random field model. This region is proximal to a region of recent star formation whereas the others are more distant.
Author(s): Henderson R, Makarenko I, Bushby P, Fletcher A, Shukurov A
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of the American Statistical Association
Print publication date: 29/08/2019
Online publication date: 25/07/2019
Acceptance date: 22/07/2019
Date deposited: 30/08/2019
ISSN (print): 0162-1459
ISSN (electronic): 1537-274X
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
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