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Improving significance of binary black hole mergers in Advanced LIGO data using deep learning : Confirmation of GW151216


Mukund,  Nikhil
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Jadhav, S., Mukund, N., Gadre, B., Mitra, S., & Abraham, S. (in preparation). Improving significance of binary black hole mergers in Advanced LIGO data using deep learning: Confirmation of GW151216.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-6000-C
We present a novel Machine Learning (ML) based strategy to search for compact binary coalescences (CBCs) in data from ground-based gravitational wave (GW) observatories. This is the first ML-based search that not only recovers all the binary black hole mergers in the first GW transients calalog (GWTC-1), but also makes a clean detection of GW151216, which was not significant enough to be included in the catalogue. Moreover, we achieve this by only adding a new coincident ranking statistic (MLStat) to a standard analysis that was used for GWTC-1. In CBC searches, reducing contamination by terrestrial and instrumental transients, which create a loud noise background by triggering numerous false alarms, is crucial to improving the sensitivity for detecting true events. The sheer volume of data and and large number of expected detections also prompts the use of ML techniques. We perform transfer learning to train "InceptionV3", a pre-trained deep neural network, along with curriculum learning to distinguish GW signals from noisy events by analysing their continuous wavelet transform (CWT) maps. MLStat incorporates information from this ML classifier into the standard coincident search likelihood used by the conventional search. This leads to at least an order of magnitude improvement in the inverse false-alarm-rate (IFAR) for the previously "low significance" events GW151012, GW170729 and GW151216. The confidence in detection of GW151216 is further strengthened by performing its parameter estimation using SEOBNRv4HM_ROM. Considering the impressive ability of the statistic to distinguish signals from glitches, the list of marginal events from MLStat could be quite reliable for astrophysical population studies and further follow-up. This work demonstrates the immense potential and readiness of MLStat for finding new sources in current data and possibility of its adaptation in similar searches.