Introducing Gravity Spy Tools

Gravity Spy Tools


With the introduction of the new Virgo workflow, we anticipate there being a number of novel glitches, some that will look like what you may have seen in Hanford and Livingston, and some very different. In an effort to help facilitate the generation of large collections of novel glitches, especially when we are not sure what to expect with Virgo, we are introducing a new supplementary tool for Gravity Spy, gravityspytools. For an idea of how to use this tool please watch the linked video. The goal of this tool is to maximize the impact of a new machine learning algorithm that the Gravity Spy team has developed called DIRECT. This algorithm utilizes transfer learning in order to learn what makes gravity spy images similar and dissimilar from each other. This allows every Gravity Spy image to be abstracted into a feature space containing 200 points. It is in this feature space that we calculate distances from one images to another. An interface to do this is provided on gravityspytools called the “Similarity Search.” It takes as input one sample from Gravity Spy and as output the closest samples in the feature space based on distance. An attempt to visualize in three dimensions what the set of known images (such as blip, whistle, etc) looks like in this 200 dimensional feature space is shown above.

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Thank You!

We want to thank all of our volunteers for their continued efforts on Gravity Spy and we appreciate all the feedback we have received. Please let us know how you find using the gravityspytools! As always please reach out to me with features you would like to see!


About scottcoughlin92

I am a graduate student with a joint appointment between Cardiff University and Northwestern University studying Gravitational Wave Physics. I am part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and work with Dr. Vicky Kalogera and Dr. Patrick Sutton. In particular, I am interested in how to create useful tools for the analysis of large data sets produced by LIGO, such as the millions of non-gravitational wave noise artifacts known as glitches. Gravity Spy ( and its creative approach to large scale data analysis is my current passion. I received my B.S. from the Northwestern University in Mathematics, Economics, and Classics. Outside of school I enjoy watching football, and am a die-hard Minnesota Vikings fan.

One response to “Introducing Gravity Spy Tools”

  1. Christi says :

    Hi there, great work with the new tools. I (as well as several others) were hoping for the ability to download the gravity spy data gathered thus far to toy around with. I wanted to analyze the subject data (id, images, raw data etc) as well as the zooniverse classification data collected for each subject.


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