Peaks, excursion sets and the distribution of dark matter haloes

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I will review recent developments in our theoretical understanding of the abundance and clustering of dark matter haloes. In the first part of this talk, I will discuss a toy model based on the statistics of peaks  of Gaussian random field (Bardeen et al 1986) and show how the clustering properties of such a point set can be easily derived from a generalised local bias expansion. In the second part, I will explain how  this peak formalism relates to the excursion set approach and present parameter-free predictions for the  mass function and bias of dark matter halos.