SciPost Submission Page

Event Generation with Sherpa 2.2

by Enrico Bothmann, Gurpreet Singh Chahal, Stefan Höche, Johannes Krause, Frank Krauss, Silvan Kuttimalai, Sebastian Liebschner, Davide Napoletano, Marek Schönherr, Holger Schulz, Steffen Schumann, Frank Siegert

Submission summary

As Contributors: Steffen Schumann · Frank Siegert
Arxiv Link:
Date submitted: 2019-05-26
Submitted by: Schumann, Steffen
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Domain(s): Exp., Theor. & Comp.
Subject area: High-Energy Physics - Phenomenology


Sherpa is a general-purpose Monte Carlo event generator for the simulation of particle collisions in high-energy collider experiments. We summarize essential features and improvements of the Sherpa 2.2 release series, which is heavily used for event generation in the analysis and interpretation of LHC Run 1 and Run 2 data. We highlight a decade of developments towards ever higher precision in the simulation of particle-collision events.

Current status:
Editor-in-charge assigned

Reports on this Submission

Anonymous Report 2 on 2019-7-24 Invited Report


The manuscript describes the main features of the event generator package Sherpa as of version 2.2. As such it documents the progress made in developing the Sherpa event generator and references the main physics publications which document the various features in more detail. It is well structured and presented.

Such manuals or reviews provide important reward for the many man-years of work which went into the development of multi-purpose event generators and as such deserve proper publication. I am happy to recommend the manuscript for publication in SciPost once a few formulations and minor details are addressed.

In section 2, most of the subsections provide enough references for the reader to find more details if needed, however some sections do not and thus require somewhat more details to be highlighted, also addressing the specific implementation in Sherpa. This applies to the section on hadronization, and on multi-parton interactions and beam remnants, where the latter miss explicit formulae e.g. of what distribution the intrinsic kt is drawn from.

Regarding the CSShower algorithm more details are required concerning the evolution of massive quarks, and other work in this context should be referenced, as well. The description of multi-jet merging needs to discuss how the Sherpa approach compares to algorithms implemented in other generators.

In section 3 more details regarding the choice of strong coupling need to be added, and specifically how this relates to tuning in the presence or absence of muti-jet merged calculations to shed more light on the choice made. At least a comparison line or a change in goodness-of-fit needs to be mentioned to quantify the impact. More details on the tuning procedure are required, as well.

It is clear that a document like the one at hand mainly serves the purpose of highlighting the features of the program and future
strategies, however this should purely happen through the presentation of the scientific content and I felt that some formulations where slightly too exaggerated and not appropriate. Examples are in the introduction ("high-precision predictions" today refers to different calculations than the ones delivered even by highly advanced event generators), more examples are in the third paragraph of the conclusion, and in between the availability of "a number of" NNLO calculations are mentioned, which is simply not the right wording for a total of three processes.

  • validity: -
  • significance: -
  • originality: -
  • clarity: -
  • formatting: -
  • grammar: -

Anonymous Report 1 on 2019-6-28 Invited Report


The paper serves as a summary of the Sherpa general-purpose MC event generator as of version 2.2.6. It presents a discussion of the various components of the modular generator, including pseudocode example for their invocation, along with a number of physics results achieved with Sherpa relevant for the current experimental program at the LHC.
The wide use by the community of Sherpa both presently and in the foreseeable future makes the existence of a canonical publication giving to cite when quoting results obtained from its latest versions important in ensuring that Sherpa development gets its proper due, as well as providing an efficient summary of its abilities. The presentation is clear and well-formatted throughout. I will have no problem recommending publication, as soon as the following requests for clarification and editing corrections, all of which are of a minor nature and should be straightforward to deal with, are addressed.

Requested changes

Clarification of physics points:
1) Sec. 2.2, CSShower. Finite-mass effects are brought up in the context of b-quark studies in the 4-/5-flavour schemes. Is there a technical obstruction to implementing variable-flavour schemes or should they be mentioned as well?
2) Sec. 3.3. It would it interesting to know if there are any known distributions in which differences between the SM and HEFT predictions that due depend significantly on the number of jets, especially as this is one of the few result sections that does not have a corresponding extended study that has been published elsewhere.
3) Sec. 3.7. While MEPS@NLO does give good overall agreement to the data, both MEPS@(N)LO seem to disagree with the data by the same feature near $E_T^\gamma \sim 70$ GeV. Is the origin of this structure known?
4) Sec. 3.10. For the statement comparing BGL and ISGW(II) parameterizations in semileptonic B decays, can we authors clarify where the choice of model parameters in the comparison originates from, i.e., are the form factors used in the comparison extracted in a consistent manner from the same data?

Minor grammatical corrections:
1) Throughout the paper, the construction "...allow to [VERB].." is used, e.g. "Sampling ... allows to determine...". This is not a grammatical English construction and should be replaced by something like "...allow [NOUN] to [VERB]..." (...allows us/the user to determine...) or a verbal noun in place of the verb (...allows for the determination of...).
2) Sec. 2.1, Built-in MEGs: "Both MEGs are capable to simulate..." $\to$ "Both MEGs are capable of simulating..."
3) Sec. 2.1, NNLO QCD Calulations: "...can be in the form of plugins obtained..." $\to$ "...can be obtained in the form of plugins..."

  • validity: high
  • significance: high
  • originality: good
  • clarity: high
  • formatting: excellent
  • grammar: good

Author Steffen Schumann on 2019-07-18
(in reply to Report 1 on 2019-06-28)

We would like to thank the referee for his/her comments on our manuscript. We will address all points raised in a more detailed reply and an revised version of the paper. Before doing that we would like to await the other referee's comments.

All the best,
Steffen Schumann (for the authors)

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