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4.9 Upper limits

Detection of a signal is signified by a large value of the ℱ-statistic that is unlikely to arise from the noise-only distribution. If instead the value of ℱ is consistent with pure noise with high probability we can place an upper limit on the strength of the signal. One way of doing this is to take the loudest event obtained in the search and solve the equation
P (ρ ,ℱ ) = β (85 ) D UL L
for signal-to-noise ratio ρUL, where PD is the detection probability given by Equation (49View Equation), ℱL is the value of the ℱ-statistic corresponding to the loudest event, and β is a chosen confidence [151]. Then ρ UL is the desired upper limit with confidence β.

When gravitational-wave data do not conform to a Gaussian probability density assumed in Equation (49View Equation), a more accurate upper limit can be obtained by injecting the signals into the detector’s data and thereby estimating the probability of detection PD [3].


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