Bayesian model comparison in cosmology with Population Monte Carlo

Kilbinger, Martin, Wraith, Darren, Robert, Christian P., Benabed, Karim, Cappé, Olivier, Cardoso, Jean-François, Fort, Gersende, Prunet, Simon, & Bouchet, François R. (2010) Bayesian model comparison in cosmology with Population Monte Carlo. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 405(4), pp. 2381-2390.

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We use Bayesian model selection techniques to test extensions of the standard flat LambdaCDM paradigm. Dark-energy and curvature scenarios, and primordial perturbation models are considered. To that end, we calculate the Bayesian evidence in favour of each model using Population Monte Carlo (PMC), a new adaptive sampling technique which was recently applied in a cosmological context. The Bayesian evidence is immediately available from the PMC sample used for parameter estimation without further computational effort, and it comes with an associated error evaluation. Besides, it provides an unbiased estimator of the evidence after any fixed number of iterations and it is naturally parallelizable, in contrast with MCMC and nested sampling methods. By comparison with analytical predictions for simulated data, we show that our results obtained with PMC are reliable and robust. The variability in the evidence evaluation and the stability for various cases are estimated both from simulations and from data. For the cases we consider, the log-evidence is calculated with a precision of better than 0.08. Using a combined set of recent CMB, SNIa and BAO data, we find inconclusive evidence between flat LambdaCDM and simple dark-energy models. A curved Universe is moderately to strongly disfavoured with respect to a flat cosmology. Using physically well-motivated priors within the slow-roll approximation of inflation, we find a weak preference for a running spectral index. A Harrison-Zel'dovich spectrum is weakly disfavoured. With the current data, tensor modes are not detected; the large prior volume on the tensor-to-scalar ratio r results in moderate evidence in favour of r=0.

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32 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 92582
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: methods: statistical, cosmological parameters
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16605.x
ISSN: 1365-2966
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 The Royal Astronomical Society
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2016 01:26
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2016 01:48

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