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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

χ2 versus median statistics in supernova type Ia data analysis

A. Barreira, P. P. Avelino

Abstract
In this paper we compare the performances of the χ2 and median likelihood analysis in the determination of cosmological constraints using type Ia supernovae data. We perform a statistical analysis using the 307 supernovae of the Union 2 compilation of the Supernova Cosmology Project and find that the χ2 statistical analysis yields tighter cosmological constraints than the median statistic if only supernovae data is taken into account. We also show that when additional measurements from the cosmic microwave background and baryonic acoustic oscillations are considered, the combined cosmological constraints are not strongly dependent on whether one applies the χ2 statistic or the median statistic to the supernovae data. This indicates that, when complementary information from other cosmological probes is taken into account, the performances of the χ2 and median statistics are very similar, demonstrating the robustness of the statistical analysis.

Physical Review D
Volume 84, Page 083521
October 2011

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Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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