Paper I: Method

Abstract

I describe an approach to fitting and comparison of radio spectra based on Bayesian analysis and realised using a new implementation of the nested sampling algorithm. Such an approach improves on the commonly used maximum-likelihood fitting of radio spectra by allowing objective model selection, calculation of the full probability distributions of the model parameters and provides a natural mechanism for including information other than the measured spectra through priors. I this paper I cover the theoretical background, the algorithms used and the implementation details of the computer code. I also briefly illustrate the method with some previously published data for three near-by galaxies. In forthcoming papers we will present the results of applying this analysis larger data sets, including some new observations, and the physical conclusions that can be made. The computer code as well as the overall approach described here may also be useful for analysis of other multi-chromatic broad-band observations and possibly also photometric redshift estimation. All of the code is publicly available, licensed under the GNU General Public License, at http://www.mrao.cam.ac.uk/~bn204/galevol/speca/index.html.

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Please cite as an arXiv publication:

@ARTICLE{2009arXiv0912.2317N,
   author = {{Nikolic}, B.},
    title = "{Fitting and Comparison of Models of Radio Spectra}",
  journal = {ArXiv e-prints},
archivePrefix = "arXiv",
   eprint = {0912.2317},
 keywords = {Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics},
     year = 2009,
    month = dec
}

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