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Interpreting The Predictions Of Deep Neural Networks

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Machine Learning For Phenomenology

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Tommaso DorigoRSS Feed of this column.

Tommaso Dorigo is an experimental particle physicist, who works for the INFN at the University of Padova, and collaborates with the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC. He coordinates the European network... Read More »

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A new paper on the ArXiV caught my attention this evening for several reasons. First of all, because two of its five authors (J.Ellis, J.R.Espinosa, G.F.Giudice, A.Hoecker, and A.Riotto) are (or have been) my colleagues in Padova University; second, because the title is quite catchy; third, because indeed the results it presents are valuable food for thought.
"Other people's data ntuples are a bit like their genitals. You may occasionally be allowed to play with them, but you should not expect to be granted unhindered access."

Unknown (the previous attribution to M. F. is fallacious)
In this two-parts article I wish to describe in some detail, but still at an elementary level, the characteristics of one of the most important probes of the physics of subnuclear collisions at today's particle physics experiments: jets of hadrons originated from energetic bottom quarks, or more familiarly, b-jets. By posting a dedicated article on b-jets, I hope I will be able to describe in more detail elsewhere other physics topics, such as Higgs boson decays or top quark signatures, without being hampered by having to introduce the phenomenology and detection of b-jets from scratch every time.


As silly as it may look, I am going to start this post by publishing for the third time in a row the same figure. That is because I want to keep the promise I made earlier that I would explain in terms as simple as possible (although not simpler) the details hidden behind the coloured curves and functions pictured there. I will also take this chance to come down a little from the level of technicality of the recent posts: after all, this blog is supposedly for everybody, and not just for Ph.D. students and recipients.

Simos beach is one of the best beaches of Greece, and arguably of the whole European continent. It is located at the southern tip of the small island of Elafonissos, a four-mile-wide rock dangling off the eastern of the three fingers shaping the Peloponnese. I chose this place for three weeks of sun, snorkeling, and rest with my family; and to rearrange my thoughts in view of September, when several interesting occupations await me: a conference in Japan, a couple of articles to produce, a course of Subnuclear Physics to hold.
Yesterday I posted a short article whose main purpose was to show a figure I had received from Sven Heinemeyer, a phenomenologist who specializes in the study of Minimal Supersymmetric extensions of the Standard Model (MSSM).

Besides predicting a mirror copy of Standard Model (SM) particles, MSSM models are characterized by containing not just one, but five distinct Higgs bosons; over much of the space of possible parameters of these theories, one of the five Higgs bosons is quite similar to the one and only SM Higgs, so that one can discuss the SM Higgs and the lightest neutral scalar of the MSSM together without generating confusion.