Analysing the SEDs of protoplanetary disks with machine learning

Till Kaeufer, Peter Woitke, Inga Kamp, Michiel Min, Christophe Pinte

The analysis of spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of protoplanetary disks to determine their physical properties is known to be highly degenerate. Hence, a full Bayesian analysis is required to obtain parameter uncertainties and degeneracies. The main challenge here is computational speed, as one proper full radiative transfer model requires at least a couple of CPU minutes to compute.
We performed a full Bayesian analysis for 30 well-known protoplanetary disks to determine their physical disk properties, including uncertainties and degeneracies. To circumvent the computational cost problem, we created neural networks (NNs) to emulate the SED generation process.
We created two sets of MCFOST Monte-Carlo radiative transfer disk models to train and test two NNs that predict SEDs for continuous and discontinuous disks, with 18 and 26 free model parameters, respectively. A Bayesian analysis was then performed on 30 protoplanetary disks with SED data collected by the FP7-Space DIANA project to determine the posterior distributions of all parameters. We ran this analysis twice, (i) with old distances and additional parameter constraints as used in a previous study, to compare results, and (ii) with updated distances and free choice of parameters to obtain homogeneous and unbiased model parameters. We evaluated the uncertainties in the determination of physical disk parameters from SED analysis, and detected and quantified the strongest degeneracies.
The NNs are able to predict SEDs within 1ms with uncertainties of about 5% compared to the true SEDs obtained by the radiative-transfer code. We find parameter values and uncertainties that are significantly different from previous values obtained by chi-square fitting.

[Poster PDF File]