TY - JOUR

T1 - A sharp estimate of the binomial mean absolute deviation with applications

AU - Berend, Daniel

AU - Kontorovich, Aryeh

N1 - Funding Information:
We thank Andrew Barron, László Györfi, John Hartigan, Gábor Lugosi, David McAllester, Alon Orlitsky, David Pollard, and Larry Wasserman for helpful discussions and comments, and an anonymous referee for corrections. We are grateful to the Stone family for providing a venue for this work. The second author was supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 1141/12 ).

PY - 2013/4/1

Y1 - 2013/4/1

N2 - We give simple, sharp non-asymptotic bounds on the mean absolute deviation (MAD) of a Bin (n, p) random variable. Although MAD is known to behave asymptotically as the standard deviation, the convergence is not uniform over the range of p and fails at the endpoints. Our estimates hold for all p ∈ [0, 1] and illustrate a simple transition from the "linear" regime near the endpoints to the "square root" regime elsewhere. As an application, we provide asymptotically optimal tail estimates of the total variation distance between the empirical and the true distributions over countable sets.

AB - We give simple, sharp non-asymptotic bounds on the mean absolute deviation (MAD) of a Bin (n, p) random variable. Although MAD is known to behave asymptotically as the standard deviation, the convergence is not uniform over the range of p and fails at the endpoints. Our estimates hold for all p ∈ [0, 1] and illustrate a simple transition from the "linear" regime near the endpoints to the "square root" regime elsewhere. As an application, we provide asymptotically optimal tail estimates of the total variation distance between the empirical and the true distributions over countable sets.

KW - Binomial

KW - Density estimation

KW - Mean absolute deviation

KW - Total variation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84874350059&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.spl.2013.01.023

DO - 10.1016/j.spl.2013.01.023

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84874350059

VL - 83

SP - 1254

EP - 1259

JO - Statistics and Probability Letters

JF - Statistics and Probability Letters

SN - 0167-7152

IS - 4

ER -