Beyond ΛCDM, physics or systematic errors may cause subsets of a cosmological data set to appear inconsistent when analysed assuming ΛCDM. We present an application of internal consistency tests to measurements from the Dark Energy Survey Year 1 (DES Y1) joint probes analysis. Our analysis relies on computing the posterior predictive distribution (PPD) for these data under the assumption of ΛCDM. We find that the DES Y1 data have an acceptable goodness of fit to ΛCDM, with a probability of finding a worse fit by random chance of p = 0.046. Using numerical PPD tests, supplemented by graphical checks, we show that most of the data vector appears completely consistent with expectations, although we observe a small tension between large- and small-scale measurements. A small part (roughly 1.5 per cent) of the data vector shows an unusually large departure from expectations; excluding this part of the data has negligible impact on cosmological constraints, but does significantly improve the p-value to 0.10. The methodology developed here will be applied to test the consistency of DES Year 3 joint probes data sets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2688-2705
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date24 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • dark energy
  • gravitational lensing: weak
  • large-scale structure of Universe
  • methods: statistical
  • UKRI
  • STFC


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