Electronic Communications in Probability

On the sub-Gaussianity of the Beta and Dirichlet distributions

Olivier Marchal and Julyan Arbel

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We obtain the optimal proxy variance for the sub-Gaussianity of Beta distribution, thus proving upper bounds recently conjectured by Elder (2016). We provide different proof techniques for the symmetrical (around its mean) case and the non-symmetrical case. The technique in the latter case relies on studying the ordinary differential equation satisfied by the Beta moment-generating function known as the confluent hypergeometric function. As a consequence, we derive the optimal proxy variance for the Dirichlet distribution, which is apparently a novel result. We also provide a new proof of the optimal proxy variance for the Bernoulli distribution, and discuss in this context the proxy variance relation to log-Sobolev inequalities and transport inequalities.

Article information

Electron. Commun. Probab. Volume 22 (2017), paper no. 54, 14 pp.

Received: 19 June 2017
Accepted: 4 October 2017
First available in Project Euclid: 13 October 2017

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Primary: 97K50: Probability theory

sub-Gaussian Beta distribution Dirichlet distribution concentration inequality transport inequality log-Sobolev inequality

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Marchal, Olivier; Arbel, Julyan. On the sub-Gaussianity of the Beta and Dirichlet distributions. Electron. Commun. Probab. 22 (2017), paper no. 54, 14 pp. doi:10.1214/17-ECP92. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ecp/1507860211

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