The weak Pinsker property

The weak Pinsker property

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Tim Austin, University of California, Los Angeles
Fine Hall 314

This talk is about the structure theory of measure-preserving systems: transformations of a finite measure space that preserve the measure.  Many important examples arise from stationary processes in probability, and simplest among these are the i.i.d. processes.  In ergodic theory, i.i.d. processes are called Bernoulli shifts.  Some of the main results of ergodic theory concern an invariant of systems called their entropy, which turns out to be intimately related to the existence of `structure preserving' maps from a general system to Bernoulli shifts.

I will give an overview of this area and its history, ending with a recent advance in this direction.  A measure-preserving system has the weak Pinsker property if it can be split, in a natural sense, into a direct product of a Bernoulli shift and a system of arbitrarily low entropy.  The recent result is that all ergodic measure-preserving systems have this property.

This talk will assume graduate-level real analysis and measure theory, and some familiarity with the language of random variables.  Past exposure to measure-theoretic probability or ergodic theory will be helpful, but not essential.