Do Minkowski averages get progressively more convex?

Analysis Seminar
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 14:05
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Kent State University
For a compact subset $A$ of $R^n$ , let $A(k)$ be the Minkowski sum of $k$ copies of $A$, scaled by $1/k$. It is well known that $A(k)$ approaches the convex hull of $A$ in Hausdorff distance as $k$ goes to infinity. A few years ago, Bobkov, Madiman and Wang conjectured that the volume of $A(k)$ is non-decreasing in $k$, or in other words, that when the volume deficit between the convex hull of $A$ and $A(k)$ goes to $0$, it actually does so monotonically. While this conjecture holds true in dimension $1$, we show that it fails in dimension $12$ or greater. Then we consider whether one can have monotonicity of convergence of $A(k)$ when its non-convexity is measured in alternate ways. Our main positive result is that Schneider’s index of non-convexity of $A(k)$ converges monotonically to $0$ as $k$ increases; even the convergence does not seem to have been known before.  We also obtain some results for the Hausdorff distance to the convex hull, along the way clarifying various properties of these notions of non-convexity that may be of independent interest.Joint work with Mokshay Madiman, Matthieu Fradelizi and Arnaud Marsiglietti.