Tunes

Since some physics aspects cannot be derived from first principles, this program contains many parameters that represent a true uncertainty in our understanding of nature. Particularly afflicted are the areas of hadronization and multiparton interactions, which both involve nonperturbative QCD physics.

Technically, PYTHIA parameters can be varied independently of each other, but the physical requirement of a sensible description of a set of data leads to correlations and anticorrelations between the parameters. Hence the need to produce tunes, not of one parameter at a time, but simultaneously for a group of them. A well-known (separate) such example is parton densities, where combined tunes to a wide range of data have been produced, that can then be obtained prepackaged.

Given the many PYTHIA parameters to be tuned, it is convenient to divide the task into subtasks. Firstly, if we assume jet universality, hadronization and final-state parton showers should be tuned to e^+e^- annihilation data, notably from LEP1, since this offers the cleanest environment. Secondly, with such parameters fixed, hadron collider data should be studied to pin down multiparton interactions and other further aspects, such as initial-state radiation. Ideally this would be done separately for diffractive and non-diffractive events, although it is not possible to have a clean separation. (Thirdly would come anything else, such as physics with photon beams, which involve further parameters, but that is beyond the current scope.)

The first step in this program has now been taken, with a tune to LEP1 data by Hendrik Hoeth, using the Rivet + Professor framework. Starting with version 8.125 it defines the default values for hadronization parameters and timelike showers.

The situation is more complicated for hadronic interactions in general and multiparton interactions in particular, where PYTHIA 8 is more different from PYTHIA 6, and therefore more work is needed. Specifically, it is not possible to "port" a PYTHIA 6 tune to PYTHIA 8.

A first simple tune, appropriately called "Tune 1", became default starting with version 8.127. It was noted, in particular by Hendrik Hoeth, that this tune had a tension between parameters needed to describe minimum-bias and underlying-event activity. Therefore some further physics features were introduced in the code itself [Cor10a], which were made default as of 8.140. This version also included two new tunes, 2C and 2M, based on the CTEQ 6L1 and the MRST LO** PDF sets, respectively. These have been made by hand, as a prequel to complete Professor-style tunings.

The very first data to come out of the LHC showed a higher rapidity plateau than predicted for current PYTHIA 6 tunes, also for the lower energies. This may suggest some tension in the data. Two alternatives, 3C and 3M, were produced by a few brute-force changes of 2C and 2M. These were introduced in 8.140, but discontinued in 8.145 in favour of the new 4C tune, that is based on a more serious study of some early LHC data, see [Cor10a]. Following the comparative studies in [Buc11], which independently confirmed a reasonable agreement with LHC data, tune 4C was made the default as of 8.150. A variant is tune 4Cx, where the Gaussian matter profile has an x-dependent width [Cor11].

Several ATLAS tunes have now been included, obtained with different PDFs and with different emphasis on minimum-bias and underlying-event data [ATL12]. These typically require LHAPDF to be linked, but this can be avoided in cases where the same PDF set is implemented internally.

Central diffraction is a recent addition to the "soft QCD" process palette, and is thus not yet included in tunes; indeed its cross section is actively zeroed. You can switch it back on after you have selected your tune, with SigmaTotal:zeroAXB = off. But note that, since the total cross section is assumed unchanged, the nondiffractive cross section is reduced and thus also the MPI machinery affected, even if effects should not be big (for a small central diffractive cross section).

Note that comparisons with data also require that other aspects agree, such as that decay chains are stopped at an agreed-on level. For instance, in the ATLAS tunes all particles with a lifetime above 10 mm are considered stable, ParticleDecays:limitTau0 = on, ParticleDecays:tau0Max = 10. We have chosen not to include this as part of the tune settings itself, since the tune as such could still be used with any other choice of stable and unstable particles.

Further comparisons have been posted on the MCPLOTS pages. They have been produced with help of the Rivet package [Buc10].

In the future we hope to see further PYTHIA 8 tunes appear. Like with parton distributions, there is likely to be several tunes, because different sets of data will pull in different directions, by imperfections in the model or in the data, and by differences in the chosen tuning strategies. We therefore propose to collect some of these tunes here, in a prepackaged form. Of course, in all cases it is a matter of setting values for parameters already defined elsewhere, so the tunes offer no new functionality, only a more convenient setup.

You should be aware that the evolution of the program will not guarantee complete backwards compatibility between versions. Most obviously this concerns bug fixes. But also for some other major changes, like the introduction of the new diffractive machinery, the default behaviour of old tunes has been changed retroactively. (Which should be fine for diffraction, since previous tunes were not based on data strongly influenced by diffraction.)

The setup of the tunes is special, in that the choice of a tune forces the change of several different flags, modes and parameters. Furthermore a design principle has been that it should be possible to start out from a tune and then change a few of its settings. This gives power and flexibility at the expense of requiring a more careful ordering of commands. We therefore here sketch the order in which operations are carried out.

  1. The constructor of a Pythia instance will read in all settings, and initialize them with their default values.
  2. At the end of this operation, the Tune:ee and Tune:pp modes (see further below) are checked. If either of them are positive the methods Settings::initTuneEE(...) and Settings::initTunePP(...), respectively, are called to overwrite the whole collection of settings in the relevant tune. Zero (or negative) means that nothing will be done.
  3. After the Pythia constructor all the relevant values for the default tune(s) have thus been set up.
  4. You as a user can now start to overwrite the values at will, using Pythia::readFile(...) to read a configuration file, or a list of Pythia::readString(...) commands, or the lower-level Settings methods. All changes are made in the order in which the commands are encountered during the execution. A given variable can be changed multiparton times, but it is the latest change that sets the current value.
  5. The two Tune:ee and Tune:pp modes can also be changed in exactly the same way as described for all other settings above. Unique for them, however, is that when one of them is encountered it also initiates a call to the initTuneEE(...) or initTunePP(...) method, respectively. In such cases all settings affected by the e^+e^- or pp/ppbar tune are first reset to the default values (the -1 options) and thereafter the relevant tune is set up.
  6. It is possible to mix commands of type 4 and 5 in any order; it is always the last change that counts. That is, any changes you have made to variables of a tune before a Tune:ee or Tune:pp command are overwritten by it, while variables you set after will overwrite the tune values. As a rule, therefore, you want to begin with the tune choice, and thereafter modify only a small part of its settings.
  7. Needless to say, the flexibility can lead to unwanted setups if you do not exercise some discipline. It is therefore recommended that you always check the listing obtained with Pythia::settings.listChanged() to confirm that the final set of changes is the intended one.

mode  Tune:ee   (default = 0; minimum = -1; maximum = 7)
Choice of tune to e^+e^- data, mainly for the hadronization and timelike-showering aspects of PYTHIA. You should study the Settings::initTuneEE(...) method to find exactly which are the settings for the respective tune.
option -1 : reset all values that are affected by any of the e^+e^- tunes to the default values. This option can be used on its own, but is also automatically used as a first step for either of the positive tune values below, to undo the effect of previous tune settings.
option 0 : no values are overwritten during the initial setup, step 2 above. Note that changing to 0 in the user code has no effect; if you want to restore the individual settings you should instead use -1.
option 1 : the original PYTHIA 8 parameter set, based on some very old flavour studies (with JETSET around 1990) and a simple tune of alpha_strong to three-jet shapes to the new pT-ordered shower. These were the default values before version 8.125.
option 2 : a tune by Marc Montull to the LEP 1 particle composition, as published in the RPP (August 2007). No related (re)tune to event shapes has been performed, however.
option 3 : a tune to a wide selection of LEP1 data by Hendrik Hoeth within the Rivet + Professor framework, both to hadronization and timelike-shower parameters (June 2009). These are the default values starting from version 8.125, so currently there is no need for this option.
option 4 : a tune to LEP data by Peter Skands, by hand, both to hadronization and timelike-shower parameters (September 2013). Note the use of the CMW convention for the shower alpha_s scale.
option 5 : first tune to LEP data by Nadine Fischer (September 2013), based on the default flavour-composition parameters. Input is event shapes (ALEPH and DELPHI), identified particle spectra (ALEPH), multiplicities (PDG), and B hadron fragmentation functions (ALEPH).
option 6 : second tune to LEP data by Nadine Fischer (September 2013). Similar to the first one, but event shapes are weighted up significantly, and multiplicites not included.
option 7 : the Monash 2013 tune by Peter Skands [Ska14], to both e^+e^- and pp/pbarp data. Should be combined with Tune:pp = 14.

flag  Tune:preferLHAPDF   (default = on)
Tunes made by experimental collaborations typically use the LHAPDF package to obtain their PDF values, and so PYTHIA has to be linked accordingly. For PDFs implemented natively in PYTHIA it is possible to use the respective tunes, without having to link to LHAPDF, if you set Tune:preferLHAPDF = off before the Tune:pp choice.

mode  Tune:pp   (default = 5; minimum = -1; maximum = 14)
Choice of tune to pp/ppbar data, mainly for the initial-state-radiation, multiparton-interactions and beam-remnants aspects of PYTHIA. Note that the previous crude (non-)tunes 3C and 3M are removed as of 8.145, superseded by the 4C tune. You should study the Settings::initTunePP(...) method to find exactly which are the settings for the respective tune.
option -1 : reset all values that are affected by any of the pp/ppbar tunes to the default values. This option can be used on its own, but is also automatically used as a first step for either of the positive tune values below, to undo the effect of previous tune settings.
option 0 : no values are overwritten during the initial setup, step 2 above. Note that changing to 0 in the user code has no effect; if you want to restore the individual settings you should instead use -1.
option 1 : default used up to version 8.126, based on some early and primitive comparisons with data.
option 2 : "Tune 1", default in 8.127 - 8.139, based on some data comparisons by Peter Skands. Largely but not wholly overlaps with the default option 0.
option 3 : "Tune 2C", introduced with 8.140 [Cor10a]. It uses the CTEQ 6L1 PDF, and is intended to give good agreement with much of the published CDF data.
option 4 : "Tune 2M", introduced with 8.140 [Cor10a]. It is uses the MRST LO** PDF, which has a momentum sum somewhat above unity, which is compensated by a smaller alpha_s than in the previous tune. Again it is intended to give good agreement with much of the published CDF data.
option 5 : "Tune 4C", new tune, introduced with 8.145 [Cor10a]. Starts out from tune 2C, but with a reduced cross section for diffraction, plus modified multiparton interactions parameters to give a higher and more rapidly increasing charged pseudorapidity plateau, for better agreement with some early key LHC numbers. See also the comparative study in [Buc11].
option 6 : "Tune 4Cx", based on tune 4C, but using the x-dependent matter profile, MultipartonInteractions:bProfile = 4 and an increased MultipartonInteractions:pT0Ref [Cor11].
option 7 : "ATLAS MB Tune A2-CTEQ6L1", a minimum-bias tune based on tune 4Cx, but without rapidity-ordered spacelike emissions [ATL12]. Uses CTEQ 6L1, by default from LHAPDF.
option 8 : "ATLAS MB Tune A2-MSTW2008LO", as above, but uses MSTW 2008 LO, by default from LHAPDF.
option 9 : "ATLAS UE Tune AU2-CTEQ6L1", an underlying-event tune based on tune 4Cx, but without rapidity-ordered spacelike emissions [ATL12]. Uses CTEQ 6L1, by default from LHAPDF.
option 10 : "ATLAS UE Tune AU2-MSTW2008LO", as above, but uses MSTW 2008 LO, by default from LHAPDF.
option 11 : "ATLAS UE Tune AU2-CT10", as above, but uses CT 10, which is not currently implemented in PYTHIA, so you must link LHAPDF.
option 12 : "ATLAS UE Tune AU2-MRST2007LO*", as above, but uses MRST 2007 LO*, by default from LHAPDF.
option 13 : "ATLAS UE Tune AU2-MRST2007LO**", as above, but uses MRST 2007 LO**, by default from LHAPDF.
option 14 : the Monash 2013 tune by Peter Skands [Ska14], to both e^+e^- and pp/pbarp data. Should be combined with Tune:ee = 7.