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# Helly's selection theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3/18/14 6:46 PM

## Helly's selection theorem

In mathematics, Helly's selection theorem states that a sequence of functions that is locally of bounded total
variation and uniformly bounded at a point has a convergent subsequence. In other words, it is a compactness
theorem for the space BVloc. It is named for the Austrian mathematician Eduard Helly.
The theorem has applications throughout mathematical analysis. In probability theory, the result implies
compactness of a tight family of measures.

Contents
1 Statement of the theorem
2 Generalizations
4 References

## Statement of the theorem

Let U be an open subset of the real line and let fn : U R, n N, be a sequence of functions. Suppose that
(fn) has uniformly bounded total variation on any W that is compactly embedded in U. That is, for all sets
U,
W U with compact closure W

## where the derivative is taken in the sense of tempered distributions;

and (fn) is uniformly bounded at a point. That is, for some t U, { fn(t) | n N } R is a bounded set.
Then there exists a subsequence fnk, k N, of fn and a function f : U R, locally of bounded variation, such
that
fnk converges to f pointwise;
and fnk converges to f locally in L1 (see locally integrable function), i.e., for all W compactly embedded in
U,

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## and, for W compactly embedded in U,

Generalizations
There are many generalizations and refinements of Helly's theorem. The following theorem, for BV functions
taking values in Banach spaces, is due to Barbu and Precupanu:
Let X be a reflexive, separable Hilbert space and let E be a closed, convex subset of X. Let : X [0, +) be
positive-definite and homogeneous of degree one. Suppose that zn is a uniformly bounded sequence in
BV([0, T]; X) with zn(t) E for all n N and t [0, T]. Then there exists a subsequence znk and functions
, z BV([0, T]; X) such that
for all t [0, T],

## and, for all 0 s < t T,

Bounded variation
Frakov-Helly selection theorem
Total variation

References
Barbu, V.; Precupanu, Th. (1986). Convexity and optimization in Banach spaces. Mathematics and its
Applications (East European Series) 10 (Second Romanian Edition ed.). Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing
Co. xviii+397. ISBN 90-277-1761-3. MR 860772 (http://www.ams.org/mathscinet-getitem?mr=860772)
Categories: Compactness theorems Theorems in analysis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helly's_selection_theorem

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