Classification of radio galaxies with trainable COSFIRE filters

Stephen Machetho*, Trienko L. Grobler, Stefan J. Wijnholds, Dimka Karastoyanova, George Azzopardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Radio galaxies exhibit a rich diversity of morphological characteristics, which make their classification into distinct types a complex challenge. To address this challenge effectively, we introduce an innovative approach for radio galaxy classification using COSFIRE filters. These filters possess the ability to adapt to both the shape and orientation of prototype patterns within images. The COSFIRE approach is explainable, learning-free, rotation-tolerant, efficient, and does not require a large training set. To assess the efficacy of our method, we conducted experiments on a benchmark radio galaxy data set comprising of 1180 training samples and 404 test samples. Notably, our approach achieved an average accuracy rate of 93.36 %. This achievement outperforms contemporary deep learning models, and it is the best result ever achieved on this data set. Additionally, COSFIRE filters offer better computational performance, ∼20 × fewer operations than the DenseNet-based competing method (when comparing at the same accuracy). Our findings underscore the effectiveness of the COSFIRE filter-based approach in addressing the complexities associated with radio galaxy classification. This research contributes to advancing the field by offering a robust solution that transcends the orientation challenges intrinsic to radio galaxy observations. Our method is versatile in that it is applicable to various image classification approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23-Mar-2024


  • image processing
  • methods: statistical
  • methods: data analysis
  • galaxies: active
  • radio continuum: galaxies

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