Cosmology sampling with Population Monte Carlo (PMC)

Om-w contours (SN)


CosmoPMC is a Monte-Carlo sampling method to explore the likelihood of various cosmological probes. The sampling engine is implemented with the package pmclib. It is called Population MonteCarlo (PMC), which is a novel technique to sample from the posterior (Cappé et al. 2008). PMC is an adaptive importance sampling method which iteratively improves the proposal to approximate the posterior. This code has been introduced, tested and applied to various cosmology data sets in Wraith, Kilbinger, Benabed et al. (2009). Results on the Bayesian evidence using PMC are discussed in Kilbinger, Wraith, Benabed et al. (2010).

The code

The code consists of two packages:

Download the latest version (1.2). New features

Cosmology modules and data

Cosmic shear HST-COSMOS cosmic shear Schrabback et al. (2009)
CFHTLenS 2D cosmic shear data Kilbinger et al. (2012)
SNIa Union sample Kowalski et al. (2008)
BAO distance measures SDSS Eisenstein et al. (2005), Reid et al. (2010), Anderson (2012)
Galaxy clustering and HOD
CMB distance priors WMAP7 Komatsu et al. 2009
Full CMB anisotropies (via CAMB and WMAP likelihood) WMAP7 Komatsu et al. 2009

Previous versions

See here for older versions.


Apart from a C-compiler, the libraries gsl (version 1.14 or higher) and fftw are required. These packages can be installed automatically with the pmclib configuration script. For graphics plots, the packages R or yorick are recommended.


Download the CosmoPMC manual pdf file (284 kB) from this site, or from arXiv:1101.0950. It is also part of the tar ball. Or have a look at the short guide.

The pmclib manual can be found here.

CosmoPMC is an entry on Starship Asterisk.


Kilbinger et al. (2011): Cosmo Population Monte Carlo - User's manual

Wraith, Kilbinger, Benabed et al. (2009): Comparison of PMC and MCMC, parameter estimation

Kilbinger, Wraith, Benabed et al. (2010): Bayesian evidence

The authors

Martin Kilbinger
Karim Benabed, Olivier Cappé, Jean Coupon, Jean-François Cardoso, Gersende Fort, Henry Joy McCracken, Simon Prunet, Christian P. Robert, Darren Wraith


Please feel free to send questions, feedback and bug reports to .

If you want to be added to the cosmo_pmc mailing list, to get updates about new versions and bug-fixes, send me a mail at


athena (tree code for second-order correlations)
nicaea (numerical cosomology and lensing calculations)
reduced-shear corrections

Last updated 28 December 2012.