One of the key tasks of any particle collider is measurement. In practice, this is often done by fitting data to a simulation, which depends on many parameters. Sometimes, when the effects of varying different parameters are highly correlated, a large ensemble of data may be needed to resolve parameter-space degeneracies. An important example is measuring the top-quark mass, where other physical and unphysical parameters in the simulation must be profiled when fitting the top-quark mass parameter. We compare four different methodologies for top-quark mass measurement: a classical histogram fit similar to one commonly used in experiment augmented by soft-drop jet grooming; a 2D profile likelihood fit with a nuisance parameter; a machine-learning method called DCTR; and a linear regression approach, either using a least-squares fit or with a dense linearly-activated neural network. Despite the fact that individual events are totally uncorrelated, we find that the linear regression methods work most effectively when we input an ensemble of events sorted by mass, rather than training them on individual events. Although all methods provide robust extraction of the top-quark mass parameter, the linear network does marginally best and is remarkably simple. For the top study, we conclude that the Monte-Carlo-based uncertainty on current extractions of the top-quark mass from LHC data can be reduced significantly (by perhaps a factor of 2) using networks trained on sorted event ensembles. More generally, machine learning from ensembles for parameter estimation has broad potential for collider physics measurements.
Journal of High Energy Physics
- Pub Date:
- September 2021
- Hadron-Hadron scattering (experiments);
- Top physics;
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- v1: 27 + 5 pages, 14 + 3 figures. v2: Matches version accepted to JHEP