8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 16 Missions, Instruments and Data Analysis
Poster, Thursday, September 9, 2004, 9:00am-10:00pm

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[16.30] Interpreting the Discrete Correlation Function

L. M. Boone, T. G. Spears (The College of Wooster)

While fitting observational data to time-dependent emission models is rapidly becoming the preferred mode of temporal analysis, it is often desirable (and even necessary) to invoke a model-independent technique for a given set of observations. The Discrete Correlation Function (DCF), as described by Edelson & Krolick (1988), appears frequently in the literature as the analysis technique of choice for ascertaining correlations in the high-energy emissions of astrophysical objects. The DCF is particularly appealing because it does not rely on interpolation, and is thus better suited for the sparsely sampled data that are common in higher-energy observations. In an effort to better quantify its results (especially the significance of any detected correlations), we have undertaken systematic studies of the resolving power of the DCF as applied to artificial signals with known correlations. Through these studies, the diagnostic power of the DCF is assessed, and criteria for significant correlation are explored.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.