Fast and accurate prediction of numerical relativity waveforms from binary black hole mergers using surrogate models [CL]

Simulating a binary black hole coalescence by solving Einstein’s equations is computationally expensive, requiring days to months of supercomputing time. In this paper, we construct an accurate and fast-to-evaluate surrogate model for numerical relativity (NR) waveforms from non-spinning binary black hole coalescences with mass ratios from $1$ to $10$ and durations corresponding to about $15$ orbits before merger. Our surrogate, which is built using reduced order modeling techniques, is distinct from traditional modeling efforts. We find that the full multi-mode surrogate model agrees with waveforms generated by NR to within the numerical error of the NR code. In particular, we show that our modeling strategy produces surrogates which can correctly predict NR waveforms that were {\em not} used for the surrogate’s training. For all practical purposes, then, the surrogate waveform model is equivalent to the high-accuracy, large-scale simulation waveform but can be evaluated in a millisecond to a second depending on the number of output modes and the sampling rate. Our model includes all spherical-harmonic ${}_{-2}Y_{\ell m}$ waveform modes that can be resolved by the NR code up to $\ell=8$, including modes that are typically difficult to model with other approaches. We assess the model’s uncertainty, which could be useful in parameter estimation studies seeking to incorporate model error. We anticipate NR surrogate models to be useful for rapid NR waveform generation in multiple-query applications like parameter estimation, template bank construction, and testing the fidelity of other waveform models.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Blackman, S. Field, C. Galley, et. al.
Mon, 2 Mar 15

Comments: 6 pages, 6 figures