We investigate the problem of noise bias in maximum likelihood and maximum a posteriori estimators for cosmic shear. We derive the leading and next-to-leading order biases and compute them in the context of galaxy ellipticity measurements, extending previous work on maximum likelihood inference for weak lensing. We show that a large part of the bias on these point estimators can be removed using information already contained in the likelihood when a galaxy model is specified, without the need for external calibration. We test these bias-corrected estimators on simulated galaxy images similar to those expected from planned space-based weak lensing surveys, with promising results. We find that the introduction of an intrinsic shape prior can help with mitigation of noise bias, such that the maximum a posteriori estimate can be made less biased than the maximum likelihood estimate. Second-order terms offer a check on the convergence of the estimators, but are largely subdominant. We show how biases propagate to shear estimates, demonstrating in our simple set-up that shear biases can be reduced by orders of magnitude and potentially to within the requirements of planned space-based surveys at mild signal-to-noise ratio. We find that second-order terms can exhibit significant cancellations at low signal-to-noise ratio when Gaussian noise is assumed, which has implications for inferring the performance of shear-measurement algorithms from simplified simulations. We discuss the viability of our point estimators as tools for lensing inference, arguing that they allow for the robust measurement of ellipticity and shear.
|Journal||Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2017|