Physics ∩ ML

a virtual hub at the interface of theoretical physics and deep learning.

01 Jun 2022

Weak Supervision for the Strong Force

Jesse Thaler, MIT/IAIFI


The strong nuclear force is governed by the interactions of quarks and gluons. Because of confinement, though, quarks and gluons can never been seen in isolation, so “quark” and “gluon” labels are fundamentally ambiguous. In this talk, I show how to leverage weak supervision to disentangle quarks and gluons without labeled training data. This technique is then applied to public data from the Large Hadron Collider. This analysis incorporates a wide range of machine learning tools — including topic modeling, permutation-invariant networks, simulation-based inference, and optimal transport — together with key insights from quantum field theory.

video slides