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Creators/Authors contains: "Mishra-Sharma, Siddharth"

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    Strong gravitational lensing has emerged as a promising approach for probing dark matter (DM) models on sub-galactic scales. Recent work has proposed the subhalo effective density slope as a more reliable observable than the commonly used subhalo mass function. The subhalo effective density slope is a measurement independent of assumptions about the underlying density profile and can be inferred for individual subhaloes through traditional sampling methods. To go beyond individual subhalo measurements, we leverage recent advances in machine learning and introduce a neural likelihood-ratio estimator to infer an effective density slope for populations of subhaloes. We demonstrate that our method is capable of harnessing the statistical power of multiple subhaloes (within and across multiple images) to distinguish between characteristics of different subhalo populations. The computational efficiency warranted by the neural likelihood-ratio estimator over traditional sampling enables statistical studies of DM perturbers and is particularly useful as we expect an influx of strong lensing systems from upcoming surveys.

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  2. Abstract

    Astrometry—the precise measurement of positions and motions of celestial objects—has emerged as a promising avenue for characterizing the dark matter population in our Galaxy. By leveraging recent advances in simulation-based inference and neural network architectures, we introduce a novel method to search for global dark matter-induced gravitational lensing signatures in astrometric datasets. Our method based on neural likelihood-ratio estimation shows significantly enhanced sensitivity to a cold dark matter population and more favorable scaling with measurement noise compared to existing approaches based on two-point correlation statistics. We demonstrate the real-world viability of our method by showing it to be robust to non-trivial modeled as well as unmodeled noise features expected in astrometric measurements. This establishes machine learning as a powerful tool for characterizing dark matter using astrometric data.

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