Workshop on Confidence Limits
27-28 March, 2000
Fermilab 1-West Conference Room

Suggested Reading

Note that Fred James will give a special series of three lectures on the present status in this field 22-24 March. (Details will follow).

Participants may find it useful to have read the following papers before the Workshop:

  • Unified approach to the classical statistical analysis of small signals, by Gary Feldman and Robert Cousins, Phys Rev D 57 (1998) 3873-3889
    Preprint physics-9711021 available at
    The lanl xxx version of the paper has been updated on 16 Dec. to reflect the changes made in proof:
    1) The definition of "sensitivity" in Sec. V(C). It was inconsistent with the actual definition in Sec. VI. 2)

    2) Note added in proof, which says that it was all obvious from Kendall and Stuart all along.

    For those who have access to the PRD server, the published version is also available there.

  • A new ordering principle for the classical statistical analysis of Poisson processes with background, by Carlo Giunti, Phys Rev D 59 (1999) 053001 1-6
    hep-ph 9808240 (see also hep-ex 9901015) available at and respectively.

  • Improved probability method for estimating the signal in the presence of background, by Byron Roe and Michael Woodroofe, Phys. Rev. D 60 (1999) 053009 1-5
    Preprint physics 9812036 available at

  • Inferring the intensity of Poisson processes at the limit of the detector sensitivity (with a case study on g.w. burst search), by Pia Astone and Giulio D'Agostini CERN-EP/99-126, hep-ex/9909047

  • Optimal statistical analysis of search results based on the likelihood ratio and its application to the search for the MSM Higgs boson at sqrt(s) =161 and 172 GeV 29 October, 1997 (public), A. L. Read, DELPHI 97-158 PHYS 737

  • Lower bound for the SM Higgs boson mass: combined result from the four LEP experiments, LEP working group for Higgs boson searches, CERN/LEPC 97-11, LEPC/M 115

Useful background including many further references:

  • Bayesian reasoning in High-Energy Physics: Principles and applications, by Giulio D'Agostini, CERN Yellow Report 99-03
    (In reading the Yellow Report, it is recommended also to consult the author's Web page:
    where he has collected comments from various people claiming there are mathematical errors and problems of interpretation in the report)

  • Why isn't every physicist a Bayesian, by Robert Cousins, Am. J. Phys. 63 (1995) 398-410

Comments to Harry W.K. Cheung - Last modified on Monday, 10-Jan-2000