TY - JOUR

T1 - Comparing gravitational waveform models for binary black hole mergers through a hypermodels approach

AU - Puecher, Anna

AU - Samajdar, Anuradha

AU - Ashton, Gregory

AU - Van Den Broeck, Chris

AU - Dietrich, Tim

PY - 2023/10/1

Y1 - 2023/10/1

N2 - The inference of source parameters from gravitational-wave signals
relies on theoretical models that describe the emitted waveform.
Different model assumptions on which the computation of these models is
based could lead to biases in the analysis of gravitational-wave data.
In this work, we sample directly on four state-of-the-art binary black
hole waveform models from different families, in order to investigate
these systematic biases from the 13 heaviest gravitational-wave sources
with moderate to high signal-to-noise ratios in the third
Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog (GWTC- 3). All models include
spin-precession as well as higher-order modes. Using the "hypermodels"
technique, we treat the waveform models as one of the sampled
parameters, therefore directly getting the odds ratio of one waveform
model over another from a single parameter estimation run. From the
joint odds ratio over all 13 sources, we find the model NRSur7dq4 to be
favoured over SEOBNRv4PHM, with an odds ratio of 29.43; IMRPhenomXPHM
and IMRPhenomTPHM have an odds ratio, respectively, of 4.70 and 5.09
over SEOBNRv4PHM. However, this result is mainly determined by three
events that show a strong preference for some of the models and that are
all affected by possible data quality issues. If we do not consider
these potentially problematic events, the odds ratio do not exhibit a
significant preference for any of the models. Although further work
studying a larger set of signals will be needed for robust quantitative
results, the presented method highlights one possible avenue for future
waveform model development.

AB - The inference of source parameters from gravitational-wave signals
relies on theoretical models that describe the emitted waveform.
Different model assumptions on which the computation of these models is
based could lead to biases in the analysis of gravitational-wave data.
In this work, we sample directly on four state-of-the-art binary black
hole waveform models from different families, in order to investigate
these systematic biases from the 13 heaviest gravitational-wave sources
with moderate to high signal-to-noise ratios in the third
Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog (GWTC- 3). All models include
spin-precession as well as higher-order modes. Using the "hypermodels"
technique, we treat the waveform models as one of the sampled
parameters, therefore directly getting the odds ratio of one waveform
model over another from a single parameter estimation run. From the
joint odds ratio over all 13 sources, we find the model NRSur7dq4 to be
favoured over SEOBNRv4PHM, with an odds ratio of 29.43; IMRPhenomXPHM
and IMRPhenomTPHM have an odds ratio, respectively, of 4.70 and 5.09
over SEOBNRv4PHM. However, this result is mainly determined by three
events that show a strong preference for some of the models and that are
all affected by possible data quality issues. If we do not consider
these potentially problematic events, the odds ratio do not exhibit a
significant preference for any of the models. Although further work
studying a larger set of signals will be needed for robust quantitative
results, the presented method highlights one possible avenue for future
waveform model development.

KW - General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology

M3 - Article

VL - 109

JO - Phys. Rev. D

JF - Phys. Rev. D

IS - 2

ER -