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Workshop: Machine Learning and the Physical Sciences

PELICAN: Permutation Equivariant and Lorentz Invariant or Covariant Aggregator Network for Particle Physics

Jan Offermann · Alexander Bogatskiy · Timothy Hoffman · David W Miller


Many current approaches to machine learning in particle physics use generic architectures that require large numbers of parameters, often adapted from unrelated data science or industry applications, and disregard underlying physics principles, thereby limiting their applicability as scientific modeling tools. In this work, we present a machine learning architecture that uses a set of inputs maximally reduced with respect to the full 6-dimensional Lorentz symmetry, and is fully permutation-equivariant throughout. We study the application of this network architecture to the standard task of classifying the origin of jets produced by either hadronically-decaying massive top quarks or light quarks, and show that the resulting network outperforms all existing competitors despite significantly lower model complexity. In addition, we present a Lorentz-covariant variant of the same network applied to a 4-momentum regression task in which we predict the full 4-vector of the W boson from a top quark decay process.

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