Emulation of reionization simulations for Bayesian inference of astrophysics parameters using neural networks

C J Schmit, J R Pritchard
2017 Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society  
Next generation radio experiments such as LOFAR, HERA and SKA are expected to probe the Epoch of Reionization and claim a first direct detection of the cosmic 21cm signal within the next decade. Data volumes will be enormous and can thus potentially revolutionize our understanding of the early Universe and galaxy formation. However, numerical modelling of the Epoch of Reionization can be prohibitively expensive for Bayesian parameter inference and how to optimally extract information from
more » ... ng data is currently unclear. Emulation techniques for fast model evaluations have recently been proposed as a way to bypass costly simulations. We consider the use of artificial neural networks as a blind emulation technique. We study the impact of training duration and training set size on the quality of the network prediction and the resulting best fit values of a parameter search. A direct comparison is drawn between our emulation technique and an equivalent analysis using 21CMMC. We find good predictive capabilities of our network using training sets of as low as 100 model evaluations, which is within the capabilities of fully numerical radiative transfer codes.
doi:10.1093/mnras/stx3292 fatcat:pdwc3ifc5jc5rg5pxuupw4zr4e