Spring 2016

Curvature, Mixing, and Entropic Interpolation

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 10:25 am11:10 am

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Calvin Lab

A substantial body of work has been devoted to finding analogs of positive Ricci curvature in discrete spaces.  Earlier, the MCMC community discovered that path coupling is a powerful technique in establishing rapid mixing.  In an ideal world, these two research threads would eventually unite, enriching both areas.  A conjecture of Peres and Tetali offers a path to this resolution, but remains open.
Based on joint work with R. Eldan and J. Lehec, I will show how entropic interpolation can be used to establish an entropy-transport inequality in chains that admit a contracting coupling.  By work of Bobkov and Gotze, this is a necessary condition for establishing a log-Sobolev inequality (and thus resolving the Peres-Tetali conjecture).