Are blips and koi fish related?

There is some debate on whether Koi fish and blip glitches are part of the same morphology distinguished mainly by loudness or amplitude of the signal. Andy Lundgren has shown that removing calibration lines as part of “data cleaning” makes them look much more similar. A possible explanation of this is that for loud enough glitches, the calibration lines may be causing the Q-transform’s whitening filter to ring at those frequencies, creating the fins on the koi fish. Whitening is a process that removes stationary differences in the loudness of Individual frequencies in the signal.

koifish

Fig 1 – Q-transform of typical Koi fish glitch

Blip

Fig 2 – Q-transform plot of the same data as above, but with calibration lines removed prior to calculating the Q-transform.

Beverly Berger has suggested that the amplitude of the glitches may be an effective way of discriminating between Koi fish and blips, with Koi fish being louder. To dig into that a little further we plotted the frequency and amplitude of the two glitch types during the 02 run.

blip-freq

Fig 3 – Frequency distribution of blip glitches during 02

koi-freq

Fig 4 – Frequency distribution of Koi fish glitches during 02

The plots of frequency distributions show significant overlap between the two glitch types. Koi fish have a lower peak frequency due to the shape but not enough of a difference to help in classification.

blip-ampl

Fig 5 – Amplitude distribution of blip glitches during 02

koi-ampl

Fig 6 – Amplitude distribution of Koi fish blitzes during 02

When we look at the amplitude differences between Koi fish and blips we see a pretty sharp dividing line around 10-21, especially during the first 21 weeks. The gap starting at week 23 is a time when there was significant commissioning. There was also a significant increase in range at Livingston around this time.

It is still unclear whether Koi fish are the same as blip glitches, only louder. We also have not been able to identify what exactly causes either glitch. This is just an interesting observation that we thought we would share with our colleagues at Gravity Spy.

–Joe Areeda

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