The first detected binary neutron star merger GW170817 allowed for the simultaneous detection of gravitational and electromagnetic waves which started the era of multi-messenger astrophysics. The existence of an electromagnetic counterpart to a compact object merger allowed for a significantly deeper analysis of the merger event and much tighter resultant constraints on existing physical models of neutron stars, nuclear physics, and the Universe itself.

Multi-messenger analysis requires sophisticated source modeling. For the foreseeable future, demanding computational resource costs will result in a sparse availability of state-of-the-art neutron star merger light curve simulations. Astrophysical inference can proceed using an alternate approach of creating computationally cheaper surrogate models based on the aforementioned state-of-the-art simulations.

The work presented here focuses on the creation and interpolation of a library of light curve simulations suitable for the generation of surrogate models capable of conveying useful astrophysical information. It addresses the necessity of switching from grid-based simulation placement to an error-maximization approach which identifies the least understood regions of parameter space. Interpolation is introduced as the connecting factor between the long-term goal of surrogate model creation and the new simulation placement mechanism. Finally, a discussion about the iterative process of simulation placement using interpolation outputs describes how each new simulation brings the library one step closer to serving as a surrogate model training set.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Gravitational lenses--Computer simulation; Neutron stars--Mathematical models; Gravitational waves--Mathematical models; Electromagnetic waves--Mathematical models

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Astrophysical Sciences and Technology (MS)


Richard O'Shaughnessy

Advisor/Committee Member

Joshua Faber

Advisor/Committee Member

Yosef Zlochower


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes