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Published August 15, 2016 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Fast and accurate inference on gravitational waves from precessing compact binaries


Inferring astrophysical information from gravitational waves emitted by compact binaries is one of the key science goals of gravitational-wave astronomy. In order to reach the full scientific potential of gravitational-wave experiments, we require techniques to mitigate the cost of Bayesian inference, especially as gravitational-wave signal models and analyses become increasingly sophisticated and detailed. Reduced-order models (ROMs) of gravitational waveforms can significantly reduce the computational cost of inference by removing redundant computations. In this paper, we construct the first reduced-order models of gravitational-wave signals that include the effects of spin precession, inspiral, merger, and ringdown in compact object binaries and that are valid for component masses describing binary neutron star, binary black hole, and mixed binary systems. This work utilizes the waveform model known as "IMRPhenomPv2." Our ROM enables the use of a fast reduced-order quadrature (ROQ) integration rule which allows us to approximate Bayesian probability density functions at a greatly reduced computational cost. We find that the ROQ rule can be used to speed-up inference by factors as high as 300 without introducing systematic bias. This corresponds to a reduction in computational time from around half a year to half a day for the longest duration and lowest mass signals. The ROM and ROQ rules are available with the main inference library of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, LALInference.

Additional Information

© 2016 American Physical Society. Received 29 April 2016; published 15 August 2016. We thank Harbir Antil, Jonathan Blackman, Thomas Dent, Chad Galley, Mark Hannam, Tom Loredo, Saul Teukolsky, Manuel Tiglio and Alan Weinstein for many useful discussions and encouragement throughout this project and Jonathan Blackman, Mike Boyle, Sascha Husa and Alejandro Bohé for help towards explaining features described in the Appendix. We would also like to thank our LIGO Presentation and Publication reviewer for their clear and detailed feedback on this manuscript. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operates under Cooperative Agreement No. PHY-0757058. M. P. was supported by STFC Grant No. ST/I001085/1 and the Max Planck Gesellschaft. S. F. was supported in part by NSF Grants No. PHY-1306125 and No. AST-1333129 to Cornell University and the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. P. S. was supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and NSF Grants No. PHY-1404569 and No. PHY-1151197 at Caltech. Some of the computations were carried out using the high performance computing resources provided by Louisiana State University (http://www.hpc.lsu.edu), the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) [56], and the Zwicky cluster at Caltech, which is supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and by NSF Award No. PHY-0960291. We are grateful for computational resources provided by Cardiff University and funded by an STFC grant supporting UK Involvement in the Operation of Advanced LIGO. This paper carries LIGO Document No. P1600096.

Attached Files

Published - PhysRevD.94.044031.pdf

Submitted - 1604.08253v1.pdf


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