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10-15 March 2019
Steinmatte conference center
Europe/Zurich timezone

Variational Autoencoders for New Physics Mining at the Large Hadron Collider

14 Mar 2019, 19:00
Steinmatte Room A

Steinmatte Room A

Oral Track 2: Data Analysis - Algorithms and Tools Track 2: Data Analysis - Algorithms and Tools


Olmo Cerri (California Institute of Technology (US))


Using variational autoencoders trained on known physics processes, we develop a one-side p-value test to isolate previously unseen event topologies as outlier events. Since the autoencoder training does not depend on any specific new physics signature, the proposed procedure has a weak dependence on underlying assumptions about the nature of new physics. An event selection based on this algorithm would be complementary to classic LHC searches, typically based on model-dependent hypothesis testing. Such an algorithm would deliver a list of anomalous events, that the experimental collaborations could further scrutinize and even release as a catalog, similarly to what is typically done in other scientific domains. Repeated patterns in this dataset could motivate new scenarios for beyond-the-standard-model physics and inspire new searches, to be performed on future data with traditional supervised approaches. Running in the trigger system of the LHC experiments, such an application could identify anomalous events that would be otherwise lost, extending the scientific reach of the LHC.

Primary authors

Dr Jean-Roch Vlimant (California Institute of Technology (US)) Maurizio Pierini (CERN) Olmo Cerri (California Institute of Technology (US)) Thong Nguyen (California Institute of Technology (US)) Maria Spiropulu (California Institute of Technology)

Presentation materials