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Journal Article

Optimizing gravitational-wave searches for a population of coalescing binaries: Intrinsic parameters


Dent,  Thomas
Observational Relativity and Cosmology, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Dent, T., & Veitch, J. (2014). Optimizing gravitational-wave searches for a population of coalescing binaries: Intrinsic parameters. Physical Review D, 89: 062002. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.89.062002.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-F92E-3
We revisit the problem of searching for gravitational waves from inspiralling compact binaries in Gaussian coloured noise. For binaries with quasicircular orbits and non-precessing component spins, considering dominant mode emission only, if the intrinsic parameters of the binary are known then the optimal statistic for a single detector is the well-known two-phase matched filter. However, the matched filter signal-to-noise ratio is /not/ in general an optimal statistic for an astrophysical population of signals, since their distribution over the intrinsic parameters will almost certainly not mirror that of noise events, which is determined by the (Fisher) information metric. Instead, the optimal statistic for a given astrophysical distribution will be the Bayes factor, which we approximate using the output of a standard template matched filter search. We then quantify the possible improvement in number of signals detected for various populations of non-spinning binaries: for a distribution of signals uniformly distributed in volume and with component masses distributed uniformly over the range $1\leq m_{1,2}/M_\odot\leq 24$, $(m_1+m_2) /M_\odot\leq 25$ at fixed expected SNR, we find $\gtrsim 20\%$ more signals at a false alarm threshold of $10^{-6}\,$Hz in a single detector. The method may easily be generalized to binaries with non-precessing spins.