Configuration files

All settings of Lensed, from the input files to the physical model of the lens system, can be controlled from a single configuration file. A typical layout is the following:

image       = double-lens.fits
gain        = 2400
offset      = 2.9633

output      = true
root        = chains/double-lens-

ds9         = true

lens        = sie
source      = sersic

lens.x      = unif 48 52
lens.y      = unif 48 52
lens.r      = unif 15 20
lens.q      = unif 0 1     = wrap unif 0 180
source.x    = image unif 80 85
source.y    = image unif 35 40
source.r    = unif 1 5
source.mag  = unif -5 0
source.n    = unif 0.5 8.0
source.q    = unif 0 1   = wrap unif 0 180

lens.x      = x_L
lens.y      = y_L
lens.r      = r_L
lens.q      = q_L     = \theta_L
source.x    = x_S
source.y    = y_S
source.r    = r_S
source.mag  = mag_S
source.n    = n_S
source.q    = q_S   = \theta_S

There are four sections in a typical configuration file: program options (top), the definition of the objects in the lens system, priors for the individual parameters of the model, and optionally a number of labels for output.


Options can be given in three places: as command line arguments, at the top of the configuration file, or later in a group called [options].

The following options are known to Lensed (see lensed --help):

Option Type Description Default
device string Select computation device. auto
output bool Output results. true
root string Root element for all output paths.
image path Input image, FITS file in counts/sec.
gain real, path Conversion factor to counts.
offset real Subtracted flat-field offset. 0
weight real, path Pixel weights in 1/(counts/sec)^2. none
xweight real, path Extra weight map multiplier. none
mask path Input mask, FITS file. none
psf path Point-spread function, FITS file. none
rule string Rule for numerical integration. g3k7
nlive int Number of live points. 300
ins bool Use importance nested sampling. true
mmodal bool Mode separation (if ins = false). true
ceff bool Constant efficiency mode. true
acc real Target acceptance rate. 0.05
tol real Tolerance in log-evidence. 0.1
shf real Shrinking factor. 0.8
maxmodes int Maximum number of expected modes. 100
feedback bool Show feedback from MultiNest. false
updint int Update interval for output. 100
seed int Random number seed for sampling. -1
resume bool Resume from last checkpoint. false
maxiter int Maximum number of iterations. 0

Options without a default value are required to be set in the configuration.

If (and only if) XPA support is enabled in the build options, there are a number of additional settings for integration with SAOImage DS9:

Option Type Description Default
ds9 bool Integrate with SAOImage DS9. false
ds9-name string XPA template name for DS9. ds9

If region file support is enabled in the build options, the mask option can alternatively contain the path to a supported region file.

There are a number of caveats regarding the following options.


The default option for device is auto. This option will select the first GPU device, in case one exists. Alternatively, it will select the first device found.


The effective gain can be given either as a real number, in which case it will be applied uniformly for each pixel of the image, or the path to a FITS file that contains the effective gain for each individual pixel. This can be, for example, the EXP image extension of a file generated by MultiDrizzle.


Objects are the individual components that create the physical model for the reconstruction. Each object corresponds to a definition in the kernel folder that lists its parameters and physical properties.

The model used for reconstruction is created by listing one or more objects in the [objects] section of the configuration file, together with a unique name for identification.

Important: The order of objects in the configuration file determines the physical layout of the system. If a source is meant to be placed before/behind a lens, it must appear in the list of objects above/below that lens.


lens   = sis
source = sersic

This model contains a SIS lens called lens and a Sérsic source called source. The source appears behind the lens and will thus be deflected by it.

host   = sersic
lens   = sis
source = sersic

The same as above, but including a foreground Sérsic source hosted on the lens plane. As the host object appears before the lens, it will not be deflected.


Priors for parameters are specified in section [priors] of a configuration file. They are given in the format

obj.param = [wrap] [image] <prior> <arg0> <arg1> ...

An exception is the pseudo-prior that fixes the value of a parameter, which is given simply as <value>, without any name.

The optional wrap prefix can be used to indicate that the parameter values wrap around at the boundaries of the prior. This is useful to get the correct distribution for cyclic parameters such as the orientation, where a mean value of 170 ± 20 degrees falls out of the natural [0, 180] degree bounds.

The following priors are known:

Prior Description
<value> pseudo-prior that fixes the parameter to the given value
unif <a> <b> uniform prior on the interval [a, b]
norm <m> <s> normal prior with mean m and standard deviation s

Additionally, the following optional keywords can be specified:

Keyword Description
wrap prior is cyclic and wraps around at the boundaries
image prior is specified on the image plane

The image keyword can be used to specify a prior on the observed quantities on the image plane. This is limited to position parameters.



; parameter "x" of object "lens" is fixed to 100
lens.x = 100

; normal prior for parameter "y" of object "lens" with mean 100 and sigma 20
lens.y = norm 100 20

; uniform probability for parameter "r" of object "lens" in interval [10, 20]
lens.r = unif 10 20

; the orientation angle is between 0 and 180 degrees and wraps around = wrap unif 0 180

; the source position is given by one of its images
source.x = image unif 80 85
source.y = image unif 35 40


It is possible to attach labels to parameters for post-processing e.g. with getdist. These labels are given in the [labels] section of a configuration file. The format is

obj.param = <label>



; label parameter "x" of object "lens"
lens.x = x_L