Investigating cosmological GAN emulators using latent space interpolation

Andrius Tamosiunas, Hans A. Winther, Kazuya Koyama, David J. Bacon, Robert C. Nichol, Ben Mawdsley

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Generative adversarial networks (GANs) have been recently applied as a novel emulation technique for large scale structure simulations. Recent results show that GANs can be used as a fast, efficient and computationally cheap emulator for producing novel weak lensing convergence maps as well as cosmic web data in 2-D and 3-D. However, like any algorithm, the GAN approach comes with a set of limitations, such as an unstable training procedure and the inherent randomness of the produced outputs. In this work we employ a number of techniques commonly used in the machine learning literature to address the mentioned limitations. In particular, we train a GAN to produce both weak lensing convergence maps and dark matter overdensity field data for multiple redshifts, cosmological parameters and modified gravity models. In addition, we train a GAN using the newest Illustris data to emulate dark matter, gas and internal energy distribution data simultaneously. Finally, we apply the technique of latent space interpolation to control which outputs the algorithm produces. Our results indicate a 1-20% difference between the power spectra of the GAN-produced and the training data samples depending on the dataset used and whether Gaussian smoothing was applied. Finally, recent research on generative models suggests that such algorithms can be treated as mappings from a lower-dimensional input (latent) space to a higher dimensional (data) manifold. We explore such a theoretical description as a tool for better understanding the latent space interpolation procedure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3049-3067
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date2 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • astro-ph.CO
  • astro-ph.IM
  • physics.comp-ph
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • ST/S000550/1
  • large-scale structure of the Universe
  • software: simulations
  • hydrodynamics
  • methods: numerical


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