Robust posterior inference when statistically emulating forward simulations

24 Apr 2020  ·  Grigor Aslanyan, Richard Easther, Nathan Musoke, Layne C. Price ·

Scientific analyses often rely on slow, but accurate forward models for observable data conditioned on known model parameters. While various emulation schemes exist to approximate these slow calculations, these approaches are only safe if the approximations are well understood and controlled. This workshop submission reviews and updates a previously published method, which has been used in cosmological simulations, to (1) train an emulator while simultaneously estimating posterior probabilities with MCMC and (2) explicitly propagate the emulation error into errors on the posterior probabilities for model parameters. We demonstrate how these techniques can be applied to quickly estimate posterior distributions for parameters of the $\Lambda$CDM cosmology model, while also gauging the robustness of the emulator approximation.

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