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    The combination of galaxy–galaxy lensing (GGL) and galaxy clustering is a powerful probe of low-redshift matter clustering, especially if it is extended to the non-linear regime. To this end, we use an N-body and halo occupation distribution (HOD) emulator method to model the redMaGiC sample of colour-selected passive galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey (DES), adding parameters that describe central galaxy incompleteness, galaxy assembly bias, and a scale-independent multiplicative lensing bias Alens. We use this emulator to forecast cosmological constraints attainable from the GGL surface density profile ΔΣ(rp) and the projected galaxy correlation function wp, gg(rp) in the final (Year 6) DES data set over scales $r_p=0.3\!-\!30.0\, h^{-1} \, \mathrm{Mpc}$. For a $3{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ prior on Alens we forecast precisions of $1.9{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, $2.0{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, and $1.9{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ on Ωm, σ8, and $S_8 \equiv \sigma _8\Omega _m^{0.5}$, marginalized over all halo occupation distribution (HOD) parameters as well as Alens. Adding scales $r_p=0.3\!-\!3.0\, h^{-1} \, \mathrm{Mpc}$ improves the S8 precision by a factor of ∼1.6 relative to a large scale ($3.0\!-\!30.0\, h^{-1} \, \mathrm{Mpc}$) analysis, equivalent to increasing the survey area by a factor of ∼2.6. Sharpening the Alens prior to $1{{\more »\rm per\ cent}}$ further improves the S8 precision to $1.1{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, and it amplifies the gain from including non-linear scales. Our emulator achieves per cent-level accuracy similar to the projected DES statistical uncertainties, demonstrating the feasibility of a fully non-linear analysis. Obtaining precise parameter constraints from multiple galaxy types and from measurements that span linear and non-linear clustering offers many opportunities for internal cross-checks, which can diagnose systematics and demonstrate the robustness of cosmological results.

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    We describe our non-linear emulation (i.e. interpolation) framework that combines the halo occupation distribution (HOD) galaxy bias model with N-body simulations of non-linear structure formation, designed to accurately predict the projected clustering and galaxy–galaxy lensing signals from luminous red galaxies in the redshift range 0.16 < z < 0.36 on comoving scales 0.6 < rp < 30 $h^{-1} \, \text{Mpc}$. The interpolation accuracy is ≲ 1–2 per cent across the entire physically plausible range of parameters for all scales considered. We correctly recover the true value of the cosmological parameter S8 = (σ8/0.8228)(Ωm/0.3107)0.6 from mock measurements produced via subhalo abundance matching (SHAM)-based light-cones designed to approximately match the properties of the SDSS LOWZ galaxy sample. Applying our model to Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) Data Release 14 (DR14) LOWZ galaxy clustering and galaxy-shear cross-correlation measurements made with Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 8 (DR8) imaging, we perform a prototype cosmological analysis marginalizing over wCDM cosmological parameters and galaxy HOD parameters. We obtain a 4.4 per cent measurement of S8 = 0.847 ± 0.037, in 3.5σ tension with the Planck cosmological results of 1.00 ± 0.02. We discuss the possibility of underestimated systematic uncertainties or astrophysical effects that could explain this discrepancy.