Let $f(x,y)$ be some bounded with its derivatives continuous function on $\Omega \times \overline{\Omega}$, where $\Omega$ is a domain in $\mathbb{R}^n$. Let $f(\,\,\cdot\,,\,y) \in \mathcal{E}(\Omega)$ for any fixed $y$. Let $L_{x} \in \mathcal{E}'(\Omega)$. Is it true that

$$\int\limits_{\overline{\Omega}} L_{x}f(x,y) \, \mu(dy) = L_{x}\int\limits_{\overline{\Omega}} f(x,y) \, \mu(dy)$$

holds for any probability measure $\mu$ in $\overline{\Omega}$? If it is true, how to show it?

If $f(x,y) \in \mathcal{E}(\Omega \times \Omega')$ where domain $\Omega'$ is such that $\overline{\Omega} \subseteq \Omega'$ then the equality holds by virtue of the tensor product of distributions theorem.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you need that the derivatives of $f(\cdot,y)$ to be bounded, in other to ensure us that $x\mapsto \int_{\overline \Omega}f(x,y)\mu(dy)$ is infinitely many times differentiable? $\endgroup$ – Davide Giraudo May 8 '12 at 15:08

Suppose first that $L_x\in C^\infty_0(\Omega)$. Then the equality you ask about is Fubini's theorem.

Suppose now that $L_x$ is not necessarily smooth. Choose a sequence $\newcommand{\ve}{\varepsilon}$ $L_{\ve,x}\in \mathscr{E}'(\Omega)$ that converges to $L_x$ in the weak sense. Then one needs to prove that

$$ \lim_{\ve\to 0} L_{\ve,x}\int_\Omega f(x,y)d\mu(y)=L_x\int_\Omega f(x,y)d\mu(y), \tag{A} $$

$$ \lim_{\ve\to 0}\int_\Omega (L_{\ve,x}-L_x)f(x,y)d\mu(y)=0. \tag{B} $$

The equality (A) is an immediate consequence of the weak convergence. The equality (B) requires an additional assumption on $f$.

Denote by $K$ a compact set containing the support of $L_x$ and $L_{\ve, x}$, $\ve$ sufficiently small. If we assume that for any multi-index $\alpha$ we have

$$ \sup_{x\in K, y\in \Omega} \partial^\alpha_x f(x,y) <\infty, \tag{C} $$

then (B) follows by invoking the uniform boundedness principle for $\mathscr{E}'(\Omega)$ which states that if a sequence $u_n \in \mathscr{E}'(\Omega)$ converges weakly to $0$, then $ u_n(\phi)\to 0$ uniformly for $\phi$ in a bounded subset of $\mathscr{E}(\Omega)$.

I recall that a subset $\Phi\subset \mathscr{E}(\Omega)$ is bounded if for any compact $K\subset \Omega$ and any multi-index $\alpha$ we have

$$ \sup_{x\in K, \phi\in \Phi} \partial^\alpha_x\phi(x) <\infty. $$

Update. Let me set $\phi_y:=f(x,y)$. To insure the integrability of $y\mapsto L(\phi_y)$ for any $L\in\mathscr{E}'(\Omega)$ it suffices to assume that the map $\Omega\ni y\mapsto \phi_y\in\mathscr{E}(\Omega)$ is continuous, i.e., for any $y_0\in \Omega$, any $\ve>0$, any compact $K\subset \Omega$ and any multi-index $\alpha$ there exists $\delta>0$ such that

$$|y-y_0|<\delta \Rightarrow \sup_{x\in K}\left|\partial^\alpha_x\bigl(\; \phi_y(x)-\phi_{y_0}(x)\;\bigr )\right| <\ve. $$

  • $\begingroup$ Great thanks! Can you give me please some reference on such version of uniform boundness principle? $\endgroup$ – Appliqué May 8 '12 at 15:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The most complete reference would be Francois Treve, Topological Vector Sapeces, Distributions and Kernels, now in Dover. However this is a bit harder to digest given its generality. A more readable and helpful source would be vol. 2 of Gelfand and Shilov's treatise on generalized functions. There they investigate complete countably normed spaces, or Frechet spaces and they prove among other things the uniform boundedness principle. The space $\mathscr{E}(\Omega)$ is such a space. $\endgroup$ – Liviu Nicolaescu May 8 '12 at 16:00

Davide's right. Neither integral makes sense because the function was only continuous. If you assume $f$ is a smooth test function, then a priori it's only clear when $\mu$ is a finite linear combination of point masses. Thus, you cannot avoid using a Riemann sums trick: approximate the more general measure with a sequence of finitely supported measures $\mu_n$. My impression is that the general theory of distributions cannot start without taking Riemann-type sums at some point and that any argument probably has this maneuver underlying it somewhere.

For the right hand side, you need to prove that $\int f(x,y) d\mu_n \to \int f(x,y) d\mu(y)$ in some $C^k$ topology as functions of $x$ over the support of $L_x$. For the left hand side, check that $\mu_n \rightharpoonup \mu$ weakly and $L_x f(x,y)$ is continuous in $y$. This step again uses that $L_x$ is continuous with respect to $C^k$ convergence for some $k$.

Note, if you establish this identity when $\mu$ is, say, an absolutely continuous measure with a smooth density function, then you can pass to the limit for a general finite measure by using a mollifying kernel (analogous to taking $L_{\epsilon, x}$ in Liviu's argument, but this is a mollification in the $y$ variable, and is just measure theoretic).

  • $\begingroup$ @ Phil The collection of functions $\Phi:=(\; f(-,y)\;)_{y\in \Omega}$ is bounded in $\mathscr{E}(\Omega)$ due to (C). Set $$s(\varepsilon):=\sup_{y\in \Omega} |(L_{\varepsilon, x}-L_x)f(x,y)|$$ The uniform boundedness principle implies $s(\varepsilon)\to 0$. Hence $$\left|\;\int_\Omega(L_{\varepsilon, x}-L_x)f(x,y)d\mu(y)\;\right| \leq \int_Omega s(\varepsilon) d\mu(y)=s(\varepsilon)\to 0. $$ $\endgroup$ – Liviu Nicolaescu May 8 '12 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ (It looks like there is a coding error in the comment.) I think I'm starting to see the relationship between these two arguments. On the one hand, your argument appeals to Fubini to get started; the argument that I suggested actually avoids Fubini's theorem by taking Riemann sums. I actually thought that you couldn't get away without this move (for the reason in my post), but it looks like you can just get by with the continuity in the $y$ variable? Thoughts? $\endgroup$ – Phil Isett May 8 '12 at 20:35

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