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Title: GRID-BASED EXPLORATION OF COSMOLOGICAL PARAMETER SPACE WITH SNAKE

We present a fully parallelized grid-based parameter estimation algorithm for investigating multidimensional likelihoods called Snake, and apply it to cosmological parameter estimation. The basic idea is to map out the likelihood grid-cell by grid-cell according to decreasing likelihood, and stop when a certain threshold has been reached. This approach improves vastly on the 'curse of dimensionality' problem plaguing standard grid-based parameter estimation simply by disregarding grid cells with negligible likelihood. The main advantages of this method compared to standard Metropolis-Hastings Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods include (1) trivial extraction of arbitrary conditional distributions; (2) direct access to Bayesian evidences; (3) better sampling of the tails of the distribution; and (4) nearly perfect parallelization scaling. The main disadvantage is, as in the case of brute-force grid-based evaluation, a dependency on the number of parameters, N{sub par}. One of the main goals of the present paper is to determine how large N{sub par} can be, while still maintaining reasonable computational efficiency; we find that N{sub par} = 12 is well within the capabilities of the method. The performance of the code is tested by comparing cosmological parameters estimated using Snake and the WMAP-7 data with those obtained using CosmoMC, the current standardmore » code in the field. We find fully consistent results, with similar computational expenses, but shorter wall time due to the perfect parallelization scheme.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1029, Blindern, NO-0315 Oslo (Norway)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270558
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 777; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALGORITHMS; ASTROPHYSICS; BACKGROUND RADIATION; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COSMOLOGY; MARKOV PROCESS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PERFORMANCE; SPACE