Nested sampling for physical scientists

Ashton G, Bernstein N, Buchner J, Chen X, Csányi G, Fowlie A, Feroz F, Griffiths M, Handley W, Habeck M, Higson E, Hobson M, Lasenby A, Parkinson D, Pártay LB, Pitkin M, Schneider D, Speagle JS, South L, Veitch J, Wacker PK, Wales DJ, Yallup D (2022)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Review article

Publication year: 2022


Book Volume: 2

Journal Issue: 39

DOI: 10.1038/s43586-022-00121-x


This Primer examines Skilling’s nested sampling algorithm for Bayesian inference and, more broadly, multidimensional integration. The principles of nested sampling are summarized and recent developments using efficient nested sampling algorithms in high dimensions surveyed, including methods for sampling from the constrained prior. Different ways of applying nested sampling are outlined, with detailed examples from three scientific fields: cosmology, gravitational-wave astronomy and materials science. Finally, the Primer includes recommendations for best practices and a discussion of potential limitations and optimizations of nested sampling.

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How to cite


Ashton, G., Bernstein, N., Buchner, J., Chen, X., Csányi, G., Fowlie, A.,... Yallup, D. (2022). Nested sampling for physical scientists. Nature Reviews Methods Primers, 2(39).


Ashton, Gregory, et al. "Nested sampling for physical scientists." Nature Reviews Methods Primers 2.39 (2022).

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