We study the approximation of arbitrary distributions P on d-dimensional space by distributions with log-concave density. Approximation means minimizing a Kullback–Leibler-type functional. We show that such an approximation exists if and only if P has finite first moments and is not supported by some hyperplane. Furthermore we show that this approximation depends continuously on P with respect to Mallows distance D1(⋅, ⋅). This result implies consistency of the maximum likelihood estimator of a log-concave density under fairly general conditions. It also allows us to prove existence and consistency of estimators in regression models with a response Y=μ(X)+ε, where X and ε are independent, μ(⋅) belongs to a certain class of regression functions while ε is a random error with log-concave density and mean zero.
"Approximation by log-concave distributions, with applications to regression." Ann. Statist. 39 (2) 702 - 730, April 2011. https://doi.org/10.1214/10-AOS853