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Workshop: NeurIPS 2023 Workshop: Machine Learning and the Physical Sciences

The DL Advocate: Playing the devil’s advocate with hidden systematic uncertainties

Andrey Ustyuzhanin · Andrey Golutvin · Aleksandr Iniukhin · Patrick Owen · Andrea Mauri · Nicola Serra


We propose a new method based on machine learning to play the devil's advocate and investigate the impact of unknown systematic effects in a quantitative way. This method proceeds by reversing the measurement process and using the physics results to interpret systematic effects under the Standard Model hypothesis.We explore this idea through a combination of gradient descent and optimisation techniques, its application and potentiality is illustrated with an example that studies the branching fraction measurement of a heavy-flavour decay.We find that the size of a hypothetical hidden systematic uncertainty strongly depends on the kinematic overlap between the signal and normalisation channel.

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