Agnostic cosmology in the CAMEL framework

S. Henrot-Versillé, O. Perdereau, S. Plaszczynski 11corresponding author, B. Rouillé d’Orfeuil, M. Spinelli and M. Tristram.

Laboratoire de l’Accélérateur Linéaire, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France.


Cosmological parameter estimation is traditionally performed in the Bayesian context. By adopting an ”agnostic” statistical point of view, we show the interest of confronting the Bayesian results to a frequentist approach based on profile-likelihoods.

To this purpose, we have developed the Cosmological Analysis with a Minuit Exploration of the Likelihood (CAMEL) software. Written from scratch in pure C++, emphasis was put in building a clean and carefully-designed project where new data and/or cosmological computations can be easily included.

CAMEL incorporates the latest cosmological likelihoods and gives access from the very same input file to several estimation methods:

  • A high quality Maximum Likelihood Estimate (a.k.a ”best fit”) using MINUIT,

  • profile likelihoods,

  • a new implementation of an Adaptive Metropolis MCMC algorithm that relieves the burden of reconstructing the proposal distribution.

We present here those various statistical techniques and roll out a full use-case that can then used as a tutorial. We revisit the \(\rm{\Lambda CDM}\) parameters determination with the latest Planck data and give results with both methodologies. Furthermore, by comparing the Bayesian and frequentist approaches, we discuss a ”likelihood volume effect” that affects the optical reionization depth when analyzing the high multipoles part of the Planck data.

The software, used in several Planck data analyzes, is available from Using it does not require advanced C++ skills.