A systematic review of strong gravitational lens modeling software

Alan T. Lefor, Toshifumi Futamase, Mohammad Akhlaghi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Despite expanding research activity in gravitational lens modeling, there is no particular software which is considered a standard. Much of the gravitational lens modeling software is written by individual investigators for their own use. Some gravitational lens modeling software is freely available for download but is widely variable with regard to ease of use and quality of documentation. This review of 13 software packages was undertaken to provide a single source of information. Gravitational lens models are classified as parametric models or non-parametric models, and can be further divided into research and educational software. Software used in research includes the GRAVLENS package (with both gravlens and lensmodel), Lenstool, LensPerfect, glafic, PixeLens, SimpLens, Lensview, and GRALE. In this review, GravLensHD, G-Lens, Gravitational Lensing, lens and MOWGLI are categorized as educational programs that are useful for demonstrating various aspects of lensing. Each of the 13 software packages is reviewed with regard to software features (installation, documentation, files provided, etc.) and lensing features (type of model, input data, output data, etc.) as well as a brief review of studies where they have been used. Recent studies have demonstrated the utility of strong gravitational lensing data for mass mapping, and suggest increased use of these techniques in the future. Coupled with the advent of greatly improved imaging, new approaches to modeling of strong gravitational lens systems are needed. This is the first systematic review of strong gravitational lens modeling software, providing investigators with a starting point for future software development to further advance gravitational lens modeling research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalNew Astronomy Reviews
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of strong gravitational lens modeling software'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this