Optimizing event selection with the random grid search
The random grid search (RGS) is a simple, but efficient, stochastic algorithm to find optimal cuts that was developed in the context of the search for the top quark at Fermilab in the mid-1990s. The algorithm, and associated code, have been enhanced recently with the introduction of two new cut types, one of which has been successfully used in searches for supersymmetry at the Large Hadron Collider. The RGS optimization algorithm is described along with the recent developments, which are illustrated with two examples from particle physics. One explores the optimization of the selection of vector boson fusion events in the four-lepton decay mode of the Higgs boson and the other optimizes SUSY searches using boosted objects and the razor variables.