Bayesian and frequentist approaches to discoveries


I discuss findings from my recent comparison of Bayesian and frequentist approaches to resonance searches (1902.03243). I introduce a counting experiment based on a search for the Higgs boson from which I generate pseudo-data. With that pseudo-data, I contrast the evolution of the $p$-value and posterior as we accumulate data and directly compare global $p$-values and the posterior of the background model. I find that in this toy problem $p$-values are typically smaller than the posterior by one or two orders of magnitude. I discuss the implications of this result for our interpretation of anomalies in resonance searches and searches for new physics in general.

Andrew Fowlie
Junior Faculty

My research interests include particle physics and statistics.