GPU-accelerated massive black hole binary parameter estimation with LISA

Michael L. Katz*, Sylvain Marsat, Alvin J.K. Chua, Stanislav Babak, Shane L. Larson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is slated for launch in the early 2030s. A main target of the mission is massive black hole binaries that have an expected detection rate of ∼20 yr-1. We present a parameter estimation analysis for a variety of massive black hole binaries. This analysis is performed with a graphics processing unit (GPU) implementation comprising the phenomhm waveform with higher-order harmonic modes and aligned spins; a fast frequency-domain LISA detector response function; and a GPU-native likelihood computation. The computational performance achieved with the GPU is shown to be 500 times greater than with a similar CPU implementation, which allows us to analyze full noise-infused injections at a realistic Fourier bin width for the LISA mission in a tractable and efficient amount of time. With these fast likelihood computations, we study the effect of adding aligned spins to an analysis with higher-order modes by testing different configurations of spins in the injection, as well as the effect of varied and fixed spins during sampling. Within these tests, we examine three different binaries with varying mass ratios, redshifts, sky locations, and detector-frame total masses ranging over 3 orders of magnitude. We discuss varied correlations between the total masses and mass ratios; unique spin posteriors for the larger mass binaries; and the constraints on parameters when fixing spins during sampling, allowing us to compare to previous analyses that did not include aligned spins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023033
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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