This paper presents the non-homogeneous Poisson process (NHPP) for modeling the rate of fast radio bursts (FRBs) and other infrequently observed astronomical events. The NHPP, well-known in statistics, can model changes in the rate as a function of both astronomical features and the details of an observing campaign. This is particularly helpful for rare events like FRBs because the NHPP can combine information across surveys, making the most of all available information. The goal of the paper is two-fold. First, it is intended to be a tutorial on the use of the NHPP. Second, we build an NHPP model that incorporates beam patterns and a power law flux distribution for the rate of FRBs. Using information from 12 surveys including 15 detections, we find an all-sky FRB rate of 586.88 events per sky per day above a flux of 1 Jy (95\% CI: 271.86, 923.72) and a flux power-law index of 0.91 (95\% CI: 0.57, 1.25). Our rate is lower than other published rates, but consistent with the rate given in Champion et al. 2016.
Digital Commons Citation
Lawrence, Earl; Wiel, Scott Vander; Law, Casey; Spolaor, Sarah Burke; and Bower, Geoffrey C., "The Nonhomogeneous Poisson Process For Fast Radio Burst Rates" (2017). Faculty Scholarship. 702.
Lawrence, Earl., Wiel, Scott Vander., Law, Casey., Spolaor, Sarah Burke., & Bower, Geoffrey C. (2017). The Nonhomogeneous Poisson Process For Fast Radio Burst Rates. The Astronomical Journal, 154(3), 117. http://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/Aa844E