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  1. Abstract One of the proposed channels of binary black hole mergers involves dynamical interactions of three black holes. In such scenarios, it is possible that all three black holes merge in a so-called hierarchical merger chain, where two of the black holes merge first and then their remnant subsequently merges with the remaining single black hole. Depending on the dynamical environment, it is possible that both mergers will appear within the observable time window. Here we perform a search for such merger pairs in the public available LIGO and Virgo data from the O1/O2 runs. Using a frequentist p-value assignment statistics we do not find any significant merger pair candidates, the most significant being GW170809-GW151012 pair. Assuming no observed candidates in O3/O4, we derive upper limits on merger pairs to be ∼11 − 110 year−1Gpc−3, corresponding to a rate that relative to the total merger rate is ∼0.1 − 1.0. From this we argue that both a detection and a non-detection within the next few years can be used to put useful constraints on some dynamical progenitor models.
  2. ABSTRACT The localization of stellar-mass binary black hole mergers using gravitational waves is critical in understanding the properties of the binaries’ host galaxies, observing possible electromagnetic emission from the mergers, or using them as a cosmological distance ladder. The precision of this localization can be substantially increased with prior astrophysical information about the binary system. In particular, constraining the inclination of the binary can reduce the distance uncertainty of the source. Here, we present the first realistic set of localizations for binary black hole mergers, including different prior constraints on the binaries’ inclinations. We find that prior information on the inclination can reduce the localization volume by a factor of 3. We discuss two astrophysical scenarios of interest: (i) follow-up searches for beamed electromagnetic/neutrino counterparts and (ii) mergers in the accretion discs of active galactic nuclei.