Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 318, Issue 1, pp 117–124 | Cite as

Use of neural networks to analyze pulse shape data in low-background detectors

  • E. K. Mace
  • J. D. Ward
  • C. E. Aalseth


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has accumulated years of data with ultra-low-background proportional counters collected in an on-site shallow underground laboratory. This large dataset of events is exploited to study the impact of using neural networks for data analysis compared to simple pulse shape discrimination (PSD). The PSD method can introduce false positives for overlapping event distributions; however, a neural network can separate and correctly classify these events. This paper describes the training, testing, and validation of a neural network, analysis of challenge datasets, and a comparison between the standard PSD approach and a dense, fully-connected neural network.


Pulse shape discrimination Neural network Classification Low-background Gas proportional counter Machine learning 



We would like to thank Dr. Nathan Hodas and Dr. Court Corley with the Data Science group at PNNL for providing advice and support for this work. The research described in this paper is part of the Agile Deep Science Initiative at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and was conducted under the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program. This work was performed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory under award number DE-AC05-76RL01830. The research presented in this paper utilized the PNNL Institutional Computing (PIC) resources at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Information Release Number: PNNL-SA-133676.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA

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