Prékopa–Leindler inequality

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In mathematics, the Prékopa–Leindler inequality is an integral inequality closely related to the reverse Young's inequality, the Brunn–Minkowski inequality and a number of other important and classical inequalities in analysis. The result is named after the Hungarian mathematicians András Prékopa and László Leindler.

Statement of the inequality[edit]

Let 0 < λ < 1 and let f, g, h : Rn → [0, +∞) be non-negative real-valued measurable functions defined on n-dimensional Euclidean space Rn. Suppose that these functions satisfy






for all x and y in Rn. Then

Essential form of the inequality[edit]

Recall that the essential supremum of a measurable function f : Rn → R is defined by

This notation allows the following essential form of the Prékopa–Leindler inequality: let 0 < λ < 1 and let f, g ∈ L1(Rn; [0, +∞)) be non-negative absolutely integrable functions. Let

Then s is measurable and

The essential supremum form was given in.[1] Its use can change the left side of the inequality. For example, a function g that takes the value 1 at exactly one point will not usually yield a zero left side in the "non-essential sup" form but it will always yield a zero left side in the "essential sup" form.

Relationship to the Brunn–Minkowski inequality[edit]

It can be shown that the usual Prékopa–Leindler inequality implies the Brunn–Minkowski inequality in the following form: if 0 < λ < 1 and A and B are bounded, measurable subsets of Rn such that the Minkowski sum (1 − λ)A + λB is also measurable, then

where μ denotes n-dimensional Lebesgue measure. Hence, the Prékopa–Leindler inequality can also be used[2] to prove the Brunn–Minkowski inequality in its more familiar form: if 0 < λ < 1 and A and B are non-empty, bounded, measurable subsets of Rn such that (1 − λ)A + λB is also measurable, then

Applications in probability and statistics[edit]

The Prékopa–Leindler inequality is useful in the theory of log-concave distributions, as it can be used to show that log-concavity is preserved by marginalization and independent summation of log-concave distributed random variables. Suppose that H(x,y) is a log-concave distribution for (x,y) ∈ Rm × Rn, so that by definition we have






and let M(y) denote the marginal distribution obtained by integrating over x:

Let y1, y2Rn and 0 < λ < 1 be given. Then equation (2) satisfies condition (1) with h(x) = H(x,(1 − λ)y1 + λy2), f(x) = H(x,y1) and g(x) = H(x,y2), so the Prékopa–Leindler inequality applies. It can be written in terms of M as

which is the definition of log-concavity for M.

To see how this implies the preservation of log-convexity by independent sums, suppose that X and Y are independent random variables with log-concave distribution. Since the product of two log-concave functions is log-concave, the joint distribution of (X,Y) is also log-concave. Log-concavity is preserved by affine changes of coordinates, so the distribution of (X + YX − Y) is log-concave as well. Since the distribution of X+Y is a marginal over the joint distribution of (X + YX − Y), we conclude that X + Y has a log-concave distribution.


  1. ^ Herm Jan Brascamp and Elliott H. Lieb (1976). "On extensions of the Brunn–Minkowski and Prekopa–Leindler theorems, including inequalities for log concave functions and with an application to the diffusion equation". Journal of Functional Analysis. 22 (4): 366–389. doi:10.1016/0022-1236(76)90004-5. 
  2. ^ Gardner, Richard J. (2002). "The Brunn–Minkowski inequality". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.) 39 (3): pp. 355–405 (electronic). doi:10.1090/S0273-0979-02-00941-2. ISSN 0273-0979.