Given a set of observations within a specified time window, a fitness value is calculated at each grid node by summing station‐specific conditional fitness values. Assuming each observation was generated by a refracted P wave, these values are proportional to the conditional probabilities that each observation was generated by a seismic event at the grid node. The node with highest fitness value is accepted as a hypothetical event location, subject to some minimal fitness value, and all arrivals within a longer time window consistent with that event are associated with it. During the association step, a variety of different phases are considered. Once associated with an event, an arrival is removed from further consideration. While unassociated arrivals remain, the search for other events is repeated until none are identified.
Results are presented in comparison with analyst‐reviewed bulletins for three datasets: a two‐week ground‐truth period, the Tohoku aftershock sequence, and the entire year of 2010. The probabilistic event detection, association, and location algorithm missed fewer events and generated fewer false events on all datasets compared to the associator used at the International Data Center (51% fewer missed and 52% fewer false events on the ground‐truth dataset when using the same predictions).