Use of genetic algorithms to determine low-ℓ rotational p-mode splittings at high frequencies

Stephen Fletcher, William Chaplin, Yvonne Elsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


We present a comparative study of genetic and standard fitting routines applied to the task of extracting reliable estimates of the rotational splitting of full-disc, low-angular-degree (low-l) solar p-mode data at high frequencies. 100 artificial proxies of a 10-yr data base of observations made by the Birmingham Solar-Oscillations Network (BiSON) were used to test the two approaches. All sets were analysed over the frequency range from 3000 to 4000 muHz. Previous work, based on non-linear 'hill-climbing' fitting techniques, has demonstrated the unfortunate tendency for full-disc estimates of the splitting to overestimate the true, underlying values at high frequencies. Here, we show that the resulting bias is less severe when a genetic-fitting approach is adopted. This is largely the result of the number of erroneous 'null-valued' estimates of the splitting being considerably reduced: these estimates are, in effect, re-introduced into the expected normal distribution of fitted splittings. We also illustrate the diverse control one has when using a genetic algorithm as a fitting routine; this diversity is shown to allow further refinement in the estimate of the rotational splitting. Finally, we address the issue of the reliability of the formal splitting uncertainties returned by the mode fitting, and find that complications arising from the strong anticorrelation between the splittings and their error estimates are not alleviated by the use of the genetic technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-832
Number of pages8
JournalRoyal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003


  • Sun : interior
  • methods : data analysis
  • Sun : rotation
  • Sun : oscillations


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