LIGO Document P0900066-v2

Targeted search for continuous gravitational waves: Bayesian versus maximum-likelihood statistics

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P - Publications
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We investigate the Bayesian framework for detection of continuous gravitational waves (GWs) in the context of targeted searches, where the phase evolution of the GW signal is assumed to be known, while the four amplitude parameters are unknown. We show that the orthodox maximum-likelihood statistic (known as "F-statistic") can be rediscovered as a Bayes factor with an unphysical prior in amplitude parameter space. We introduce an alternative detection statistic ("B-statistic") using the Bayes factor with a more natural amplitude prior, namely an isotropic probability distribution for the orientation of GW sources. Monte-Carlo simulations show that the resulting Bayesian B-statistic is more powerful in the Neyman-Pearson sense than the frequentist F-statistic for targeted searches.
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Notes and Changes:
version submitted to CQG GWDAW13 proceedings
Associated with Events:
GWDAW 13 held from 19 Jan 2009 to 22 Jan 2009 in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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