Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Professor of Astrostatistics



+44 (0)20 7594 7793r.trotta Website CV




Mrs Sheila Ekudo +44 (0)20 7594 2086




1009Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Trotta, R and Kunz, M and Liddle, AR},
doi = {10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18552.x},
journal = {Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society},
pages = {2337--2344},
title = {Designing decisive detections},
url = {},
volume = {414},
year = {2011}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - We present a general Bayesian formalism for the definition of figures of merit (FoMs) quantifying the scientific return of a future experiment. We introduce two new FoMs for future experiments based on their model selection capabilities, called the decisiveness of the experiment and the expected strength of evidence. We illustrate these by considering dark energy probes and compare the relative merits of stages II, III and IV dark energy probes. We find that probes based on supernovae and on weak lensing perform rather better on model selection tasks than is indicated by their Fisher matrix FoM as defined by the Dark Energy Task Force. We argue that our ability to optimize future experiments for dark energy model selection goals is limited by our current uncertainty over the models and their parameters, which is ignored in the usual Fisher matrix forecasts. Our approach gives a more realistic assessment of the capabilities of future probes and can be applied in a variety of situations.
AU - Trotta,R
AU - Kunz,M
AU - Liddle,AR
DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18552.x
EP - 2344
PY - 2011///
SN - 1365-2966
SP - 2337
TI - Designing decisive detections
T2 - Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
UR -
UR -
VL - 414
ER -