The Mock LISA Data Challenges (MLDCs) were a program to demonstrate LISA data-analysis capabilities and to encourage their development. Each round of challenges consisted of several data sets containing simulated instrument noise and signals from gravitational-wave sources of undisclosed parameters. Participants were asked to analyze the data sets and report the maximum information about source parameters.
The challenges were released in rounds of increasing complexity and realism, and they demonstrated the recovery of model signals from supermassive black-hole binaries of SNRs between 10 and 200, from ~ 20,000 overlapping Galactic white-dwarf binaries (among a realistically distributed population of 26 million), and from the extreme--mass-ratio inspirals of compact objects into central galactic black holes with SNRs ~ 100.
I was the co-chair of the MLDC taskforce that formulated the challenge problems, produced the data sets, administered the challenge rounds, collected and evaluated results. In collaboration with Curt Cutler and others, I also participated in the challenges as a contestant, concentrating especially on the searches for supermassive--black-hole binary inspirals.
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