Theses Doctoral

Computational Methods in Multi-Messenger Astrophysics using Gravitational Waves and High Energy Neutrinos

Countryman, Stefan Trklja

This dissertation seeks to describe advancements made in computational methods for multi-messenger astrophysics (MMA) using gravitational waves GW and neutrinos during Advanced LIGO (aLIGO)’s first through third observing runs (O1-O3) and, looking forward, to describe novel computational techniques suited to the challenges of both the burgeoning MMA field and high-performance computing as a whole.

The first two chapters provide an overview of MMA as it pertains to gravitational wave/high energy neutrino (GWHEN) searches, including a summary of expected astrophysical sources as well as GW, neutrino, and gamma-ray detectors used in their detection. These are followed in the third chapter by an in-depth discussion of LIGO’s timing system, particularly the diagnostic subsystem, describing both its role in MMA searches and the author’s contributions to the system itself.

The fourth chapter provides a detailed description of the Low-Latency Algorithm for Multi-messenger Astrophysics (LLAMA), the GWHEN pipeline developed by the author and used in O2 and O3. Relevant past multi-messenger searches are described first, followed by the O2 and O3 analysis methods, the pipeline’s performance, scientific results, and finally, an in-depth account of the library’s structure and functionality. In particular, the author’s high-performance multi-order coordinates (MOC) HEALPix image analysis library, HPMOC, is described. HPMOC increases performance of HEALPix image manipulations by several orders of magnitude vs. naive single-resolution approaches while presenting a simple high-level interface and should prove useful for diverse future MMA searches. The performance improvements it provides for LLAMA are also covered.

The final chapter of this dissertation builds on the approaches taken in developing HPMOC, presenting several novel methods for efficiently storing and analyzing large data sets, with applications to MMA and other data-intensive fields. A family of depth-first multi-resolution ordering of HEALPix images — DEPTH9, DEPTH19, and DEPTH40 — is defined, along with algorithms and use cases where it can improve on current approaches, including high-speed streaming calculations suitable for serverless compute or FPGAs.

For performance-constrained analyses on HEALPix data (e.g. image analysis in multi-messenger search pipelines) using SIMD processors, breadth-first data structures can provide short-circuiting calculations in a data-parallel way on compressed data; a simple compression method is described with application to further improving LLAMA performance.

A new storage scheme and associated algorithms for efficiently compressing and contracting tensors of varying sparsity is presented; these demuxed tensors (D-Tensors) have equivalent asymptotic time and space complexity to optimal representations of both dense and sparse matrices, and could be used as a universal drop-in replacement to reduce code complexity and developer effort while improving performance of existing non-optimized numerical code. Finally, the big bucket hash table (B-Table), a novel type of hash table making guarantees on data layout (vs. load factor), is described, along with optimizations it allows for (like hardware acceleration, online rebuilds, and hard realtime applications) that are not possible with existing hash table approaches. These innovations are presented in the hope that some will prove useful for improving future MMA searches and other data-intensive applications.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Márka, Szabolcs
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 14, 2023