Real-time gravitational-wave science with neural posterior estimation


We demonstrate unprecedented accuracy for rapid gravitational-wave parameter estimation with deep learning. Using neural networks as surrogates for Bayesian posterior distributions, we analyze eight gravitational-wave events from the first LIGO-Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog and find very close quantitative agreement with standard inference codes, but with inference times reduced from O(day) to a minute per event. Our networks are trained using simulated data, including an estimate of the detector-noise characteristics near the event. This encodes the signal and noise models within millions of neural-network parameters, and enables inference for any observed data consistent with the training distribution, accounting for noise nonstationarity from event to event. Our algorithm—called “DINGO”—sets a new standard in fast-and-accurate inference of physical parameters of detected gravitational-wave events, which should enable real-time data analysis without sacrificing accuracy.

Phys. Rev. Lett.
Stephen R. Green
Stephen R. Green
Nottingham Research Fellow

I am a theoretical physicist studying gravitational waves, based at the University of Nottingham. My main interests are in black hole perturbation theory and applying probabilistic machine-learning methods to analyze LIGO data.