Communications in Mathematical Physics

, Volume 330, Issue 3, pp 1263–1292 | Cite as

Continuity of the Maximum-Entropy Inference

  • Weis StephanEmail author


We study the inverse problem of inferring the state of a finite-level quantum system from expected values of a fixed set of observables, by maximizing a continuous ranking function. We have proved earlier that the maximum-entropy inference can be a discontinuous map from the convex set of expected values to the convex set of states because the image contains states of reduced support, while this map restricts to a smooth parametrization of a Gibbsian family of fully supported states. Here we prove for arbitrary ranking functions that the inference is continuous up to boundary points. This follows from a continuity condition in terms of the openness of the restricted linear map from states to their expected values. The openness condition shows also that ranking functions with a discontinuous inference are typical. Moreover it shows that the inference is continuous in the restriction to any polytope which implies that a discontinuity belongs to the quantum domain of non-commutative observables and that a geodesic closure of a Gibbsian family equals the set of maximum-entropy states. We discuss eight descriptions of the set of maximum-entropy states with proofs of accuracy and an analysis of deviations.


Convex Body Relative Entropy Ranking Function Exponential Family Geodesic Closure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institute for Mathematics in the SciencesLeipzigGermany

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