Asymptotic formulae for likelihood-based tests of new physics

Glen Cowan, Kyle Cranmer, Eilam Gross, Ofer Vitells

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We describe likelihood-based statistical tests for use in high energy physics for the discovery of new phenomena and for construction of confidence intervals on model parameters. We focus on the properties of the test procedures that allow one to account for systematic uncertainties. Explicit formulae for the asymptotic distributions of test statistics are derived using results ofWilks andWald.We motivate and justify the use of a representative data set, called the “Asimov data set”, which provides a simple method to obtain the median experimental sensitivity of a search or measurement as well as fluctuations about this expectation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number1554
    JournalEuropean Physical Journal C
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Engineering (miscellaneous)
    • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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