The VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey (VIPERS). Unsupervised classification with photometric redshifts: a method to accurately classify large galaxy samples without spectroscopic information
Techniques to classify galaxies solely based on photometry will be necessary for future large cosmology missions, such as Euclid or LSST. However, the precision of classification is always lower in photometric surveys and can be systematically biased with respect to classifications based upon spectroscopic data. We verified how precisely the detailed classification scheme introduced by Siudek et al. (2018, hereafter: S1) for galaxies at z~0.7 could be reproduced if only photometric data are available. We applied the Fisher Expectation-Maximization (FEM) unsupervised clustering algorithm to 54,293 VIPERS galaxies working in a parameter space of reliable photometric redshifts and 12 corresponding rest-frame magnitudes. The FEM algorithm distinguishes four main groups: (1) red, (2) green, (3) blue, and (4) outliers. Each group is further divided into 3, 3, 4, and 2 subclasses, respectively. The accuracy of reproducing galaxy classes using spectroscopic data is high: 92%, 84%, 96% for red, green, and blue classes, respectively, except for dusty star-forming galaxies. The presented verification of the photometric classification demonstrates that large photometric samples can be used to distinguish different galaxy classes at z > 0.5 with an accuracy provided so far only by spectroscopic data except for particular galaxy classes.