A precise symbolic emulator of the linear matter power spectrum

February 22, 2024
3:00pm to 4:00pm

IFT Seminar Room/Red Room

Specialist level
Deaglan Bartlett
CNRS & Sorbonne Université, Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (IAP)

IFT Seminar Room/Red Room


Computing the matter power spectrum, P(k), as a function of cosmological parameters can be prohibitively slow in cosmological analyses, hence emulating this calculation is desirable. Previous analytic approximations are insufficiently accurate for modern applications, so black-box, uninterpretable emulators are often used. We utilise an efficient genetic programming based symbolic regression framework to explore the space of potential mathematical expressions which can approximate the power spectrum and σ8. We learn the ratio between an existing low-accuracy fitting function for P(k) and that obtained by solving the Boltzmann equations and thus still incorporate the physics which motivated this earlier approximation. We obtain an analytic approximation to the linear power spectrum with a root mean squared fractional error of 0.2% between k=9×1039hMpc1 and across a wide range of cosmological parameters, and we provide physical interpretations for various terms in the expression. We also provide a simple analytic approximation for σ8 with a similar accuracy, with a root mean squared fractional error of just 0.4% when evaluated across the same range of cosmologies. This function is easily invertible to obtain As as a function of σ8 and the other cosmological parameters, if preferred. It is possible to obtain symbolic approximations to a seemingly complex function at a precision required for current and future cosmological analyses without resorting to deep-learning techniques, thus avoiding their black-box nature and large number of parameters. Our emulator will be usable long after the codes on which numerical approximations are built become outdated.