This is the first paper in a series devoted to the systematic study of the size and structure of the broad-line region (BLR) in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) using reverberation mapping (RM) data. We employ a recently developed Bayesian approach that statistically describes the variability as a damped random walk process and delineates the BLR structure using a flexible disk geometry that can account for a variety of shapes, including disks, rings, shells, and spheres. We allow for the possibility that the line emission may respond non-linearly to the continuum, and we detrend the light curves when there is clear evidence for secular variation. We use a Markov Chain Monte Carlo implementation based on Bayesian statistics to recover the parameters and uncertainties for the BLR model. The corresponding transfer function is obtained self-consistently. We tentatively constrain the virial factor used to estimate black holemasses; more accurate determinations will have to await velocity-resolved RM data. Application of our method to RM data with H beta monitoring for about 40 objects shows that the assumed BLR geometry can reproduce quite well the observed emission-line fluxes from the continuum light curves. We find that the H beta BLR sizes obtained from our method are on average similar to 20% larger than those derived from the traditional cross-correlation method. Nevertheless, we still find a tight BLR size-luminosity relation with a slope of alpha = 0.55 +/- 0.03 and an intrinsic scatter of similar to 0.18 dex. In particular, we demonstrate that our approach yields appropriate BLR sizes for some objects (such as Mrk 142 and PG 2130+099) where traditional methods previously encountered difficulties.
Yan R,Wang JM,Li, YR,et al. A BAYESIAN APPROACH TO ESTIMATE THE SIZE AND STRUCTURE OF THE BROAD-LINE REGION IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI USING REVERBERATION MAPPING DATA[J]. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL,2013,779(2):110.
彦荣.,王建民.,Li, YR.,Wang, JM.,Ho, LC.,...&杜璞.(2013).A BAYESIAN APPROACH TO ESTIMATE THE SIZE AND STRUCTURE OF THE BROAD-LINE REGION IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI USING REVERBERATION MAPPING DATA.ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL,779(2),110.
彦荣,et al."A BAYESIAN APPROACH TO ESTIMATE THE SIZE AND STRUCTURE OF THE BROAD-LINE REGION IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI USING REVERBERATION MAPPING DATA".ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL 779.2(2013):110.