A Caltech Library Service

Comparison of maximum-likelihood mapping methods for gravitational-wave backgrounds

Renzini, Arianna I. and Romano, Joseph D. and Contaldi, Carlo R. and Cornish, Neil J. (2022) Comparison of maximum-likelihood mapping methods for gravitational-wave backgrounds. Physical Review D, 105 (2). Art. No. 023519. ISSN 2470-0010. doi:10.1103/physrevd.105.023519.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Detection of a stochastic background of gravitational waves is likely to occur in the next few years. Beyond searches for the isotropic component of a stochastic gravitational-wave background, there have been various mapping methods proposed to target anisotropic backgrounds. Some of these methods have been applied to data taken by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo. Specifically, these directional searches have focused on mapping the intensity of the signal on the sky via maximum-likelihood solutions. We compare this intensity mapping approach to a previously proposed, but never employed, amplitude-phase mapping method to understand whether this latter approach may be employed in future searches. We build up our understanding of the differences between these two approaches by analyzing simple toy models of time-stream data, and we run mock-data mapping tests for the two methods. We find that the amplitude-phase method is only applicable to the case of a background which is phase coherent on large scales or, at the very least, has an intrinsic coherence scale that is larger than the resolution of the detector. Otherwise, the amplitude-phase mapping method leads to an overall loss of information, with respect to both phase and amplitude. Since we do not expect these phase-coherent properties to hold for any of the gravitational-wave background signals we hope to detect in the near future, we conclude that intensity mapping is the preferred method for such backgrounds.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Renzini, Arianna I.0000-0002-4589-3987
Romano, Joseph D.0000-0003-4915-3246
Contaldi, Carlo R.0000-0001-7285-0707
Cornish, Neil J.0000-0002-7435-0869
Additional Information:© 2022 American Physical Society. (Received 15 July 2021; revised 4 December 2021; accepted 4 January 2022; published 13 January 2022) A. I. R. acknowledges the support of the National Science Foundation and the LIGO Laboratory. J. D. R. acknowledges support from NASA Grant No. 80NSSC19K0318, NSF Physics Frontiers Center Grants No. PFC-1430284 and No. PFC-2020265, and start-up funds from Texas Tech University. C. R. C. acknowledges support by Science and Technology Facilities Council consolidated Grant No. ST/P000762/1. N. J. C. appreciates the support of NASA LISA foundation Science Grant No. 80NSSC19K0320, NSF Grant No. PHY1912053, and NSF Physics Frontiers Center Grants No. PFC-1430284 and No. PFC-2020265.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Texas Tech UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/P000762/1
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220118-839550000
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112964
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:19 Jan 2022 23:11
Last Modified:19 Jan 2022 23:11

Repository Staff Only: item control page