As Einstein’s equations for binary compact object inspiral have only been approximately or intermittently solved by analytic or numerical methods, the models used to infer parameters of gravitational wave (GW) sources are subject to waveform modeling uncertainty. We illustrate these differences and then introduce a very efficient technique to marginalize over waveform uncertainties, relative to a prespecified sequence of waveform models. We also extend this technique to include dynamic weighting by calculating overlap of models with Numerical Relativity. Being based on RIFT, a very efficient parameter inference engine, our technique can directly account for any available models, including very accurate but computationally costly waveforms. Our evidence and likelihood-based method works robustly on a point-by-point basis, enabling accurate marginalization for models with strongly disjoint posteriors while simultaneously increasing the reusability and efficiency of our intermediate calculations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Gravitational waves--Mathematical models; Double stars--Mathematical models

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Physics (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


George M. Thurston

Advisor/Committee Member

Richard O'Shaughnessy

Advisor/Committee Member

Carlos Lousto


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes