A Bayesian analysis of regularized source inversions in gravitational lensing

S. H. Suyu, P. J. Marshall, M. P. Hobson, R. D. Blandford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Strong gravitational lens systems with extended sources are of special interest because they provide additional constraints on the models of the lens systems. To use a gravitational lens system for measuring the Hubble constant, one would need to determine the lens potential and the source intensity distribution simultaneously. A linear inversion method to reconstruct a pixellated source brightness distribution of a given lens potential model was introduced by Warren & Dye. In the inversion process, regularization on the source intensity is often needed to ensure a successful inversion with a faithful resulting source. In this paper, we use Bayesian analysis to determine the optimal regularization constant (strength of regularization) of a given form of regularization and to objectively choose the optimal form of regularization given a selection of regularizations. We consider and compare quantitatively three different forms of regularization previously described in the literature for source inversions in gravitational lensing: zeroth-order, gradient and curvature. We use simulated data with the exact lens potential to demonstrate the method. We find that the preferred form of regularization depends on the nature of the source distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-998
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Gravitational lensing
  • Methods: data analysis


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