Detecting Clusters of Galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I. Monte Carlo Comparison of Cluster Detection Algorithms
We present a comparison of three cluster finding algorithms from imaging data using Monte Carlo simulations of clusters embedded in a 25 deg^2 region of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) imaging data: the Matched Filter (MF; Postman et al. 1996), the Adaptive Matched Filter (AMF; Kepner et al. 1999) and a color-magnitude filtered Voronoi Tessellation Technique (VTT). Among the two matched filters, we find that the MF is more efficient in detecting faint clusters, whereas the AMF evaluates the
... F evaluates the redshifts and richnesses more accurately, therefore suggesting a hybrid method (HMF) that combines the two. The HMF outperforms the VTT when using a background that is uniform, but it is more sensitive to the presence of a non-uniform galaxy background than is the VTT; this is due to the assumption of a uniform background in the HMF model. We thus find that for the detection thresholds we determine to be appropriate for the SDSS data, the performance of both algorithms are similar; we present the selection function for each method evaluated with these thresholds as a function of redshift and richness. For simulated clusters generated with a Schechter luminosity function (M_r^* = -21.5 and alpha = -1.1) both algorithms are complete for Abell richness >= 1 clusters up to z ~ 0.4 for a sample magnitude limited to r = 21. While the cluster parameter evaluation shows a mild correlation with the local background density, the detection efficiency is not significantly affected by the background fluctuations, unlike previous shallower surveys.