Simulation assisted likelihood-free anomaly detection

Anders Andreassen, Benjamin Nachman, David Shih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Given the lack of evidence for new particle discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), it is critical to broaden the search program. A variety of model-independent searches have been proposed, adding sensitivity to unexpected signals. There are generally two types of such searches: those that rely heavily on simulations and those that are entirely based on (unlabeled) data. This paper introduces a hybrid method that makes the best of both approaches. For potential signals that are resonant in one known feature, this new method first learns a parametrized reweighting function to morph a given simulation to match the data in sidebands. This function is then interpolated into the signal region, and then the reweighted background-only simulation can be used for supervised learning as well as for background estimation. The background estimation from the reweighted simulation allows for nontrivial correlations between features used for classification and the resonant feature. A dijet search with jet substructure is used to illustrate the new method. Future applications of Simulation Assisted Likelihood-free Anomaly Detection (salad) include a variety of final states and potential combinations with other model-independent approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095004
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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