El-CID: A filter for gravitational-wave electromagnetic counterpart identification

Deep Chatterjee, Gautham Narayan, Patrick D. Aleo, Konstantin Malanchev, Daniel Muthukrishna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As gravitational-wave (GW) interferometers become more sensitive and probe ever more distant reaches, the number of detected binary neutron star mergers will increase. However, detecting more events farther away with GWs does not guarantee corresponding increase in the number of electromagnetic counterparts of these events. Current and upcoming wide-field surveys that participate in GW follow-up operations will have to contend with distinguishing the kilonova (KN) from the ever increasing number of transients they detect, many of which will be consistent with the GW sky-localization. We have developed a novel tool based on a temporal convolutional neural network architecture, trained on sparse early-time photometry and contextual infoation for Electromagnetic Counterpart Identification (El-CID). The overarching goal for El-CID is to slice through list of new transient candidates that are consistent with the GW sky localization, and deteine which sources are consistent with KNe, allowing limited target-of-opportunity resources to be used judiciously. In addition to verifying the perfoance of our algorithm on an extensive testing sample, we validate it on AT2017gfo - the only EM counterpart of a binary neutron star merger discovered to date - and AT2019npv - a supernova that was initially suspected as a counterpart of the GW event, GW190814, but was later ruled out after further analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-930
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • gravitational waves
  • neutron
  • silations
  • software
  • stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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