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  1. Abstract The accurate simulation of additional interactions at the ATLAS experiment for the analysis of proton–proton collisions delivered by the Large Hadron Collider presents a significant challenge to the computing resources. During the LHC Run 2 (2015–2018), there were up to 70 inelastic interactions per bunch crossing, which need to be accounted for in Monte Carlo (MC) production. In this document, a new method to account for these additional interactions in the simulation chain is described. Instead of sampling the inelastic interactions and adding their energy deposits to a hard-scatter interaction one-by-one, the inelastic interactions are presampled, independent of the hard scatter, and stored as combined events. Consequently, for each hard-scatter interaction, only one such presampled event needs to be added as part of the simulation chain. For the Run 2 simulation chain, with an average of 35 interactions per bunch crossing, this new method provides a substantial reduction in MC production CPU needs of around 20%, while reproducing the properties of the reconstructed quantities relevant for physics analyses with good accuracy. 
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  2. Abstract A search for long-lived charginos produced either directly or in the cascade decay of heavy prompt gluino states is presented. The search is based on proton–proton collision data collected at a centre-of-mass energy of $$\sqrt{s}$$ s  = 13 T $$\text {eV}$$ eV between 2015 and 2018 with the ATLAS detector at the LHC, corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 136 fb $$^{-1}$$ - 1 . Long-lived charginos are characterised by a distinct signature of a short and then disappearing track, and are reconstructed using at least four measurements in the ATLAS pixel detector, with no subsequent measurements in the silicon-microstrip tracking volume nor any associated energy deposits in the calorimeter. The final state is complemented by a large missing transverse-momentum requirement for triggering purposes and at least one high-transverse-momentum jet. No excess above the expected backgrounds is observed. Exclusion limits are set at 95% confidence level on the masses of the chargino and gluino for different chargino lifetimes. Chargino masses up to 660 (210) G $$\text {eV}$$ eV are excluded in scenarios where the chargino is a pure wino (higgsino). For charginos produced during the cascade decay of a heavy gluino, gluinos with masses below 2.1 T $$\text {eV}$$ eV are excluded for a chargino mass of 300 G $$\text {eV}$$ eV and a lifetime of 0.2 ns. 
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  3. Abstract This paper presents a measurement of the electroweak production of two jets in association with a $$Z\gamma $$ Z γ pair, with the Z boson decaying into two neutrinos. It also presents a search for invisible or partially invisible decays of a Higgs boson with a mass of 125  $$\text {GeV}$$ GeV produced through vector-boson fusion with a photon in the final state. These results use data from LHC proton–proton collisions at $$\sqrt{s}$$ s = 13  $$\text {TeV}$$ TeV collected with the ATLAS detector and corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 139  $$\hbox {fb}^{-1}$$ fb - 1 . The event signature, shared by all benchmark processes considered for the measurements and searches, is characterized by a significant amount of unbalanced transverse momentum and a photon in the final state, in addition to a pair of forward jets. Electroweak $$Z\gamma $$ Z γ production in association with two jets is observed in this final state with a significance of 5.2 (5.1 expected) standard deviations. The measured fiducial cross-section for this process is $$1.31\pm 0.29$$ 1.31 ± 0.29  fb. An observed (expected) upper limit of 0.37 ( $$0.34^{+0.15}_{-0.10}$$ 0 . 34 - 0.10 + 0.15 ) at 95% confidence level is set on the branching ratio of a 125  $$\text {GeV}$$ GeV Higgs boson to invisible particles, assuming the Standard Model production cross-section. The signature is also interpreted in the context of decays of a Higgs boson into a photon and a dark photon. An observed (expected) 95% CL upper limit on the branching ratio for this decay is set at 0.018 ( $$0.017^{+0.007}_{-0.005}$$ 0 . 017 - 0.005 + 0.007 ), assuming the Standard Model production cross-section for a 125  $$\text {GeV}$$ GeV Higgs boson. 
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  4. Abstract During LHC Run 2 (2015–2018) the ATLAS Level-1 topological trigger allowed efficient data-taking by the ATLAS experiment at luminosities up to 2.1 $$\times $$ × 10 $$^{34}$$ 34  cm $$^{-2}$$ - 2 s $$^{-1}$$ - 1 , which exceeds the design value by a factor of two. The system was installed in 2016 and operated in 2017 and 2018. It uses Field Programmable Gate Array processors to select interesting events by placing kinematic and angular requirements on electromagnetic clusters, jets, $$\tau $$ τ -leptons, muons and the missing transverse energy. It allowed to significantly improve the background event rejection and signal event acceptance, in particular for Higgs and B -physics processes. 
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  5. A bstract A search for the exotic decay of the Higgs boson ( H ) into a b $$ \overline{b} $$ b ¯ resonance plus missing transverse momentum is described. The search is performed with the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider using 139 fb − 1 of pp collisions at $$ \sqrt{s} $$ s = 13 TeV. The search targets events from ZH production in an NMSSM scenario where H → $$ {\overset{\sim }{\chi}}_2^0{\overset{\sim }{\chi}}_1^0 $$ χ ~ 2 0 χ ~ 1 0 , with $$ {\overset{\sim }{\chi}}_2^0 $$ χ ~ 2 0 → $$ a{\overset{\sim }{\chi}}_1^0 $$ a χ ~ 1 0 , where a is a light pseudoscalar Higgs boson and $$ {\overset{\sim }{\chi}}_{1,2}^0 $$ χ ~ 1 , 2 0 are the two lightest neutralinos. The decay of the a boson into a pair of b -quarks results in a peak in the dijet invariant mass distribution. The final-state signature consists of two leptons, two or more jets, at least one of which is identified as originating from a b -quark, and missing transverse momentum. Observations are consistent with Standard Model expectations and upper limits are set on the product of cross section times branching ratio for a three-dimensional scan of the masses of the $$ {\overset{\sim }{\chi}}_2^0 $$ χ ~ 2 0 , $$ {\overset{\sim }{\chi}}_1^0 $$ χ ~ 1 0 and a boson. 
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  6. Abstract Several improvements to the ATLAS triggers used to identify jets containing b -hadrons ( b -jets) were implemented for data-taking during Run 2 of the Large Hadron Collider from 2016 to 2018. These changes include reconfiguring the b -jet trigger software to improve primary-vertex finding and allow more stable running in conditions with high pile-up, and the implementation of the functionality needed to run sophisticated taggers used by the offline reconstruction in an online environment. These improvements yielded an order of magnitude better light-flavour jet rejection for the same b -jet identification efficiency compared to the performance in Run 1 (2011–2012). The efficiency to identify b -jets in the trigger, and the conditional efficiency for b -jets that satisfy offline b -tagging requirements to pass the trigger are also measured. Correction factors are derived to calibrate the b -tagging efficiency in simulation to match that observed in data. The associated systematic uncertainties are substantially smaller than in previous measurements. In addition, b -jet triggers were operated for the first time during heavy-ion data-taking, using dedicated triggers that were developed to identify semileptonic b -hadron decays by selecting events with geometrically overlapping muons and jets. 
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