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Workshop: Machine Learning and the Physical Sciences

Detection is truncation: studying source populations with truncated marginal neural ratio estimation

Noemi Anau Montel · Christoph Weniger


Statistical inference of population parameters of astrophysical sources is challenging. It requires accounting for selection effects, which stem from the artificial separation between bright detected and dim undetected sources that is introduced by the analysis pipeline itself. We show that these effects can be modeled self-consistently in the context of sequential simulation-based inference. Our approach couples source detection and catalogue-based inference in a principled framework that derives from the truncated marginal neural ratio estimation (TMNRE) algorithm. It relies on the realization that detection can be interpreted as prior truncation. We outline the algorithm, and show first promising results.

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