Special Topics in Applied Mathematics
Measure transport is a rich mathematical topic at the intersection of analysis, probability and optimization. The core idea behind this theory is to rearrange the mass of a reference measure to match a target measure. In particular, optimal transport seeks a rearrangement that transports mass with minimal cost. The theory of optimal transport dates back to Monge in 1781, with significant advancements by Kantorovich in 1942 and later in the '90s, e.g. by Brenier. In recent years, measure transport has become an indispensable tool for representing probability distributions and for defining measures of similarity between distributions. These methods enjoy applications in image retrieval, signal and image representation, inverse problems, cancer detection, texture and color modelling, shape and image registration, and machine learning, to name a few. This class will introduce the foundations of measure transport, present its connections and applications in various fields, and lastly explore modern computational methods for finding discrete and continuous transport maps, e.g. Sinkhorn's algorithm and normalizing flows.
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