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To assess the validity of the fit, a convincing quality check is to explore further the data sample by examining the distributions of control variables. A control variable can be obtained for instance by removing one of the discriminating variables before performing again the maximum Likelihood fit: this removed variable is a control variable. The expected distribution of this control variable, for signal, is to be compared to the one extracted, for signal, from the data sample. In order to be able to do so, one must be able to unfold from the distribution of the whole data sample.
The SPlot method allows to reconstruct the distributions for the control variable, independently for each of the various sources of events, without making use of any a priori knowledge on this variable. The aim is thus to use the knowledge available for the discriminating variables to infer the behavior of the individual sources of events with respect to the control variable.
SPlot is optimal if the control variable is uncorrelated with the discriminating variables.