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Generating dark matter halo merger trees.

Parkinson, H. and Cole, Shaun and Helly, J. (2008) 'Generating dark matter halo merger trees.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 383 (2). pp. 557-564.


We present a new Monte Carlo algorithm to generate merger trees describing the formation history of dark matter haloes. The algorithm is a modification of the algorithm of Cole et al. used in the galform semi-analytic galaxy formation model. As such, it is based on the Extended Press–Schechter theory and so should be applicable to hierarchical models with a wide range of power spectra and cosmological models. It is tuned to be in accurate agreement with the conditional mass functions found in the analysis of merger trees extracted from the Λ cold dark matter Millennium N-body simulation. We present a comparison of its predictions not only with these conditional mass functions, but also with additional statistics of the Millennium Simulation halo merger histories. In all cases, we find it to be in good agreement with the Millennium Simulation and thus it should prove to be a very useful tool for semi-analytic models of galaxy formation and for modelling hierarchical structure formation in general. We have made our merger tree generation code and code to navigate the trees available at

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Methods, Numerical, Cosmology, Dark matter.
Full text:(NA) Not Applicable
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Publisher statement:The definitive version is available at
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:January 2008
Date first made open access:No date available

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