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Hunting down the best model of inflation with Bayesian evidence

Abstract : We present the first calculation of the Bayesian evidence for different prototypical single field inflationary scenarios, including representative classes of small field and large field models. This approach allows us to compare inflationary models in a well-defined statistical way and to determine the current “best model of inflation.” The calculation is performed numerically by interfacing the inflationary code FieldInf with MultiNest. We find that small field models are currently preferred, while large field models having a self-interacting potential of power p>4 are strongly disfavored. The class of small field models as a whole has posterior odds of approximately 3∶1 when compared with the large field class. The methodology and results presented in this article are an additional step toward the construction of a full numerical pipeline to constrain the physics of the early Universe with astrophysical observations. More accurate data (such as the Planck data) and the techniques introduced here should allow us to identify conclusively the best inflationary model.
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Jérôme Martin, Christophe Ringeval, Roberto Trotta. Hunting down the best model of inflation with Bayesian evidence. Physical Review D, American Physical Society, 2011, 83, ⟨10.1103/PhysRevD.83.063524⟩. ⟨insu-03646028⟩

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