POWHEG [Nas04] in its character is very much like a parton shower,
with a Sudakov factor arising from the ordering of emissions. Both
POWHEG-BOX [Ali10] and PYTHIA are based on a combined evolution
of ISR and FSR in pT-related "hardness" variables, and thus are
kindred spirits. The hardness definitions differ, however. Frequently we
will therefore need to distinguish between POWHEG-hardness and
PYTHIA-hardness in the following.
The simplest merging solution, of continuing the PYTHIA shower at the LHA
scale hardness where POWHEG leaves off, is obtained if you
SpaceShower:pTmaxMatch = 1 and
TimeShower:pTmaxMatch = 1. But then mismatches are bound to
happen: some regions may be doublecounted, while others may not be counted
at all. Depending on the choice of hardness, such mismatches might be small.
There are no guarantees, however, so a (hopefully) more accurate merging
scheme is coded up in the
examples/main31 files. Here we would
like to discuss the (POWHEG-specific) input settings for
main31.cc, and attempt to give some recommendations on how to
use the main program to perform a matching of POWHEG-BOX with PYTHIA 8.
The main source of documentation is
POWHEG-BOX inputs contain Born-like events (with no resolved emission) and
Real-type events (containing an additional parton). The mismatch between
POWHEG-hardness and PYTHIA-hardness can be minimised if the PYTHIA shower
a) The POWHEG-hardness criterion (through which the separation of Born-
and Real-like events is defined), and
b) The POWHEG-hardness value (which separates Born- and Real-like
If these definitions are known, then
PYTHIA can fill missing phase space regions through vetoed showering: let
the shower sweep over the full phase space, using its PYTHIA-hardness
ordering, and use the POWHEG-hardness to veto those emissions that POWHEG
should already have covered. This is only possible since the
POWHEG-hardness criterion and the shower ordering criterion are very
similar. In the more general case a truncated showering would be needed
For vetoed showering, it is necessary to define the POWHEG-hardness criterion
main31.cc. In the presence of multiple partons, the definition
quickly becomes complicated, and allows for different choices. Similar
decisions have already been made in the implementation of POWHEG, one example
being the choice in defining which "hardness value" is transferred as
POWHEG-hardness, e.g. by deciding if the "singular regions" of the FKS or the
CS approach are used. If the POWHEG-hardness definition were to be changed,
or extended to more objects, the
main31.cc code would need to
be modified accordingly.
main31.cc is designed to be very flexible, and allows access
to many possible choices. However, this flexibility means that many parameters
can be changed, potentially leading to confusion. Thus, recommendations might
prove helpful. All mistakes and inaccuracies rest with the author.
We recommend the usage of vetoed showers. This means using
POWHEG:veto = 1
This means that PYTHIA will sweep over the full phase space, and apply a veto
on parton shower emissions for which the POWHEG-hardness separation between
radiator and emission is above the POWHEG-hardness value of the current input
event. The variation
POWHEG:veto = 0 can be used to assess
how much phase space is under- or double-counted.
To define the POWHEG-hardness criterion, use
POWHEG:pTdef = 1
Other values can be used by experts to assess variations.
Both POWHEG-BOX and PYTHIA 8 generate emissions through a parton shower
step, meaning that both programs have a clear definition of a radiator
that emits particles, which is very similar (if not identical).
To fix the ambiguity if the radiator or the emitted particle should be
called "the emission", use
POWHEG:emitted = 0
More complicated choices can be used by experts. For instance, use
POWHEG:emitted = 2 to check the POWHEG-hardness of both
radiator and emitted.
To exhaustively fix the criterion by which to veto parton shower
emissions, it is important to decide which partons/parton pairs
are used to calculate the POWHEG hardness of a PYTHIA 8 emission.
The minimal and recommended choice is
POWHEG:pTemt = 0
This means that only the POWHEG hardness w.r.t the radiating leg is
checked, and recoil effects are neglected. This prescription should be
very similar to how a hardness value is assigned to a Real-type event
in the POWHEG-BOX, since in the (implementation of FKS in the) POWHEG-BOX,
initial state splittings only have singular regions with the radiating
initial state parton, and final state splittings only have singular
regions w.r.t the radiating final state line. Other choices of
POWHEG:pTemt are available. A warning is that the impact of
changes can be huge, particularly for inputs with many jets. Other choices
therefore should only be made by experts, and a high degree of caution
It is furthermore necessary to decide on a value of the hardness criterion.
POWHEG-BOX transfers this value in the
SCALUP member of
Les Houches Events, and we recommend using this value by setting
POWHEG:pThard = 0
As a variation, in order to estimate the uncertainty due this choice of
POWHEG-hardness definition, it can be useful to also check
POWHEG:pThard = 2. This will recalculate the POWHEG-hardness
value as promoted in [Ole12].
Finally, you need to decide how many emissions the vetoed shower should
check after an allowed emission has been constructed. If the hardness
definitions in POWHEG-BOX and PYTHIA 8 where identical, all checking could
be stopped after the first allowed PS emission. To be prudent, we
POWHEG:vetoCount = 3
which will then check up to three allowed emissions. Higher values of
POWHEG:vetoCount have not lead to visible differences
for the processes which have been tested.