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Propagating sample variance uncertainties in redshift calibration: simulations, theory, and application to the COSMOS2015 dataABSTRACT Cosmological analyses of galaxy surveys rely on knowledge of the redshift distribution of their galaxy sample. This is usually derived from a spectroscopic and/or many-band photometric calibrator survey of a small patch of sky. The uncertainties in the redshift distribution of the calibrator sample include a contribution from shot noise, or Poisson sampling errors, but, given the small volume they probe, they are dominated by sample variance introduced by large-scale structures. Redshift uncertainties have been shown to constitute one of the leading contributions to systematic uncertainties in cosmological inferences from weak lensing and galaxy clustering, and hence they must be propagated through the analyses. In this work, we study the effects of sample variance on small-area redshift surveys, from theory to simulations to the COSMOS2015 data set. We present a three-step Dirichlet method of resampling a given survey-based redshift calibration distribution to enable the propagation of both shot noise and sample variance uncertainties. The method can accommodate different levels of prior confidence on different redshift sources. This method can be applied to any calibration sample with known redshifts and phenotypes (i.e. cells in a self-organizing map, or some other way of discretizing photometric space), and provides a simple way ofmore »
Redshift inference from the combination of galaxy colours and clustering in a hierarchical Bayesian model – Application to realistic N -body simulationsABSTRACT Photometric galaxy surveys constitute a powerful cosmological probe but rely on the accurate characterization of their redshift distributions using only broad-band imaging, and can be very sensitive to incomplete or biased priors used for redshift calibration. A hierarchical Bayesian model has recently been developed to estimate those from the robust combination of prior information, photometry of single galaxies, and the information contained in the galaxy clustering against a well-characterized tracer population. In this work, we extend the method so that it can be applied to real data, developing some necessary new extensions to it, especially in the treatment of galaxy clustering information, and we test it on realistic simulations. After marginalizing over the mapping between the clustering estimator and the actual density distribution of the sample galaxies, and using prior information from a small patch of the survey, we find the incorporation of clustering information with photo-z’s tightens the redshift posteriors and overcomes biases in the prior that mimic those happening in spectroscopic samples. The method presented here uses all the information at hand to reduce prior biases and incompleteness. Even in cases where we artificially bias the spectroscopic sample to induce a shift in mean redshift of $\Deltamore »