Group-finding with photometric redshifts: The Photo-z Probability Peaks algorithm
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We present a galaxy group-finding algorithm, the Photo-z Probability Peaks (P3) algorithm, optimized for locating small galaxy groups using photometric redshift data by searching for peaks in the signal-to-noise of the local overdensity of galaxies in a 3-dimensional grid. This method is an improvement over similar matched-filter methods in reducing background contamination through the use of redshift information, allowing it to accurately detect groups to a much lower size limit. We present the results of tests of our algorithm on galaxy catalogues from the Millennium Simulation. For typical settings of our algorithm and photometric redshift accuracy of sigma_z = 0.05 it attains a purity of 84% and detects ~83 groups/deg.^2 with an average group size of 5.5 members. With photometric redshift accuracy of sigma_z = 0.02, it attains a purity of 94% and detects ~80 groups/deg.^2 with an average group size of 6.3 members. We also test our algorithm on data available for the COSMOS field and the presently-available fields from the CFHTLS-Wide survey, presenting preliminary results of this analysis.