Painting with baryons: augmenting N-body simulations with gas using deep generative models

Tilman Tröster, Cameron Ferguson, Joachim Harnois-Déraps, Ian G. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Running hydrodynamical simulations to produce mock data of large-scale structure and baryonic probes, such as the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich (tSZ) effect, at cosmological scales is computationally challenging. We propose to leverage the expressive power of deep generative models to find an effective description of the large-scale gas distribution and temperature. We train two deep generative models, a variational auto-encoder and a generative adversarial network, on pairs of matter density and pressure slices from the BAHAMAS hydrodynamical simulation. The trained models are able to successfully map matter density to the corresponding gas pressure. We then apply the trained models on 100 lines-of-sight from SLICS, a suite of N-body simulations optimised for weak lensing covariance estimation, to generate maps of the tSZ effect. The generated tSZ maps are found to be statistically consistent with those from BAHAMAS. We conclude by considering a specific observable, the angular cross-power spectrum between the weak lensing convergence and the tSZ effect and its variance, where we find excellent agreement between the predictions from BAHAMAS and SLICS, thus enabling the use of SLICS for tSZ covariance estimation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Early online date29 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • astro-ph.CO
  • astro-ph.IM
  • stat.ML

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