Fast calculation of the Fisher matrix for cosmic microwave background experiments
1 Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, UMR 7095, CNRS – Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Univ. Paris 06), 98bis Bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
2 Departments of Physics and Astronomy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Received: 8 February 2012
Accepted: 21 February 2012
The Fisher information matrix of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation power spectrum coefficients is a fundamental quantity that specifies the information content of a CMB experiment. In the most general case, its exact calculation scales with the third power of the number of data points N and is therefore computationally prohibitive for state-of-the-art surveys. Applicable to a very large class of CMB experiments without special symmetries, we show how to compute the Fisher matrix in only 𝒪(N2 log N) operations as long as the inverse noise covariance matrix can be applied to a data vector in time 𝒪(ℓ3max log ℓmax). This assumption is true to a good approximation for all CMB data sets taken so far. The method takes into account common systematics such as arbitrary sky coverage and realistic noise correlations. As a consequence, optimal quadratic power spectrum estimation also becomes feasible in 𝒪(N2log N) operations for this large group of experiments. We discuss the relevance of our findings to other areas of cosmology where optimal power spectrum estimation plays a role.
Key words: methods: numerical / cosmic background radiation / methods: statistical / methods: data analysis / methods: analytical
© ESO, 2012