Chaining, interpolation and convexity II: The contraction principle

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The generic chaining method provides a sharp description of the suprema of many random processes in terms of the geometry of their index sets. The chaining functionals that arise in this theory are however notoriously difficult to control in any given situation. In the first paper in this series, we introduced a particularly simple method for producing the requisite multiscale geometry by means of real interpolation. This method is easy to use, but does not always yield sharp bounds on chaining functionals. In the present paper, we show that a refinement of the interpolation method provides a canonical mechanism for controlling chaining functionals. The key innovation is a simple but powerful contraction principle that makes it possible to efficiently exploit interpolation. We illustrate the utility of this approach by developing new dimension-free bounds on the norms of random matrices and on chaining functionals in Banach lattices. As another application, we give a remarkably short interpolation proof of the majorizing measure theorem that entirely avoids the greedy construction that lies at the heart of earlier proofs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1764-1805
Number of pages42
JournalAnnals of Probability
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


  • Entropy numbers
  • Generic chaining
  • Majorizing measures
  • Random matrices
  • Real interpolation
  • Suprema of random processes


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