Michele's research

The Mock LISA Data Challenges (2006–2011)


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.

  • MLDC official website: includes all challenge data sets and solutions.
  • MLDC wiki: includes the working documents of the taskforce, and the minutes of our telecons.
  • The lisatools project at Google Code: includes all the open-source software that we developed to generate the challenge data sets and to read and write lisaXML, the data format that I designed for the MLDCs (see the Computing in Science and Engineering publication below).

MLDC taskforce publications

Round 1

Round 2

  • An overview of the second round of the Mock LISA Data Challenges
    MLDC taskforce*
    Class. Quant. Grav. 24, S551 (2007) [+]
  • Report on the second Mock LISA Data Challenge
    MLDC taskforce and MLDC2 participants*
    Class. Quant. Gravity 25, 114037 (2008) [+]

Round 1B, 3, 4

  • The Mock LISA Data Challenges: from Challenge 1B to Challenge 3
    MLDC taskforce and MLDC1B participants*
    Class. Quant. Grav. 25, 184026 (2008) [+]
  • The Mock LISA Data Challenges: from Challenge 3 to Challenge 4
    MLDC taskforce and MLDC3 participants*
    Class. Quant. Grav. 27, 084009 (2010) [+]

Publications from my group

About analysis methods and the lisatools infrastructure

  • A LISA Data-Analysis Primer
    M. Vallisneri
    Class. Quant. Grav. 26, 094024 (2009) [+]
  • Python and XML for agile scientific computing: the Mock LISA Data Challenges
    M. Vallisneri and S. Babak
    Computing in Science and Engineering 10, 80 (2008) [+]

MLDC entries

Back to research gallery.

© M. Vallisneri 2014 — last modified on 2012/07/06