BEYONDPLANCK: IV. Simulations and validation

M. Brilenkov, K. S. F. Fornazier, L. T. Hergt, G. A. Hoerning, A. Marins, T. Murokoshi, F. Rahman, N.-O. Stutzer, F. .B. Abdalla, R. Aurlien, R. Banerji, A. Basyrov, A. Battista, M. Bersanelli, S. Bertocco, S. Bollanos, L. P. L. Colombo, Hans Kristian Kamfjord Eriksen, J. R. Eskilt, C. FranceschetU. Fuskeland, S. Galeotta, M. Galloway, S. Gerakakis, E. Gjerløw, B. Hensley, M. Ieronymaki, H. T. Ihle, J. B. Jewell, A. Karakci, E. Keihänen, R. Keskitalo, G. Maggio, D. Maino, M. Maris, S. Paradiso, B. Partridge, M. Reinecke, A.-S. Suur-Uski, T. L. Svalheim, D. Tavagnacco, H. Thommesen, M. Tomasi, D. J. Watts, I. K. Wehus, A. Zacchei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


End-to-end simulations play a key role in the analysis of any high-sensitivity cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment, providing high-fidelity systematic error propagation capabilities that are unmatched by any other means. In this paper, we address an important issue regarding such simulations, namely, how to define the inputs in terms of sky model and instrument parameters. These may either be taken as a constrained realization derived from the data or as a random realization independent from the data. We refer to these as posterior and prior simulations, respectively. We show that the two options lead to significantly different correlation structures, as prior simulations (contrary to posterior simulations) effectively include cosmic variance, but they exclude realization-specific correlations from non-linear degeneracies. Consequently, they quantify fundamentally different types of uncertainties. We argue that as a result, they also have different and complementary scientific uses, even if this dichotomy is not absolute. In particular, posterior simulations are in general more convenient for parameter estimation studies, while prior simulations are generally more convenient for model testing. Before BEYONDPLANCK, most pipelines used a mix of constrained and random inputs and applied the same hybrid simulations for all applications, even though the statistical justification for this is not always evident. BEYONDPLANCK represents the first end-to-end CMB simulation framework that is able to generate both types of simulations and these new capabilities have brought this topic to the forefront. The BEYONDPLANCK posterior simulations and their uses are described extensively in a suite of companion papers. In this work, we consider one important applications of the corresponding prior simulations, namely, code validation. Specifically, we generated a set of one-year LFI 30 GHz prior simulations with known inputs and we used these to validate the core low-level BEYONDPLANCK algorithms dealing with gain estimation, correlated noise estimation, and mapmaking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA4
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

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  • Cosmic background radiation
  • Cosmology: observations
  • Diffuse radiation


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