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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
  2. Abstract IceCube is a cubic-kilometer Cherenkov telescope operating at the South Pole. The main goal of IceCube is the detection of astrophysical neutrinos and the identification of their sources. High-energy muon neutrinos are observed via the secondary muons produced in charge current interactions with nuclei in the ice. Currently, the best performing muon track directional reconstruction is based on a maximum likelihood method using the arrival time distribution of Cherenkov photons registered by the experiment's photomultipliers. A known systematic shortcoming of the prevailing method is to assume a continuous energy loss along the muon track. However at energies >1 TeVmore »the light yield from muons is dominated by stochastic showers. This paper discusses a generalized ansatz where the expected arrival time distribution is parametrized by a stochastic muon energy loss pattern. This more realistic parametrization of the loss profile leads to an improvement of the muon angular resolution of up to 20% for through-going tracks and up to a factor 2 for starting tracks over existing algorithms. Additionally, the procedure to estimate the directional reconstruction uncertainty has been improved to be more robust against numerical errors.« less