A Hierarchical Approach to Rapid Gravitational Wave Parameter Estimation

Author: Benjamin Farr

Abstract: The rapid localization of a gravitational wave source is crucial for successfully detecting electromagnetic counterparts. Techniques currently used for analyzing data collected from ground-based detectors assume both objects to be non-spinning, potentially introducing large uncertainties and biases in sky position. Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods have proven capable of estimating all parameters of a spinning, circularized compact binary with high latency. MCMC has also been shown to provide low latency, but biased, sky localization by assuming a non-spinning signal and fixing some parameters (e.g. masses) to the best-fit values from the detection pipeline. We present a technique to connect the two methods, providing rapid yet potentially biased sky localization within minutes, after which biases are reduced by fitting the remaining parameters self-consistently.