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      Estimation of cosmological parameters using adaptive importance sampling


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          We present a Bayesian sampling algorithm called adaptive importance sampling or Population Monte Carlo (PMC), whose computational workload is easily parallelizable and thus has the potential to considerably reduce the wall-clock time required for sampling, along with providing other benefits. To assess the performance of the approach for cosmological problems, we use simulated and actual data consisting of CMB anisotropies, supernovae of type Ia, and weak cosmological lensing, and provide a comparison of results to those obtained using state-of-the-art Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC). For both types of data sets, we find comparable parameter estimates for PMC and MCMC, with the advantage of a significantly lower computational time for PMC. In the case of WMAP5 data, for example, the wall-clock time reduces from several days for MCMC to a few hours using PMC on a cluster of processors. Other benefits of the PMC approach, along with potential difficulties in using the approach, are analysed and discussed.

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          Blind Deconvolution via Sequential Imputations

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            Five-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)Observations: Beam Maps and Window Functions

            Cosmology and other scientific results from the WMAP mission require an accurate knowledge of the beam patterns in flight. While the degree of beam knowledge for the WMAP one-year and three-year results was unprecedented for a CMB experiment, we have significantly improved the beam determination as part of the five-year data release. Physical optics fits are done on both the A and the B sides for the first time. The cutoff scale of the fitted distortions on the primary mirror is reduced by a factor of ~2 from previous analyses. These changes enable an improvement in the hybridization of Jupiter data with beam models, which is optimized with respect to error in the main beam solid angle. An increase in main-beam solid angle of ~1% is found for the V2 and W1-W4 differencing assemblies. Although the five-year results are statistically consistent with previous ones, the errors in the five-year beam transfer functions are reduced by a factor of ~2 as compared to the three-year analysis. We present radiometry of the planet Jupiter as a test of the beam consistency and as a calibration standard; for an individual differencing assembly, errors in the measured disk temperature are ~0.5%.

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              04 March 2009


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              17 pages, 11 figures
              astro-ph.CO stat.CO


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