On the correlation of monotone families
The classical correlation inequality of Harris asserts that any two monotone increasing families on the discrete cube are nonnegatively correlated. In 1996, Talagrand established a lower bound on the correlation in terms of how much the two families depend simultaneously on the same coordinates. Talagrand's method and results inspired a number of important works in combinatorics and probability theory.
In this talk we present stronger correlation lower bounds that hold when the increasing families satisfy natural regularity or symmetry conditions. In addition, we present several new classes of examples for which Talagrand's bound is tight.
A central tool we use is a simple lemma asserting that for monotone events noise decreases correlation. This lemma gives also a very simple derivation of the classical FKG inequality for product measures, and leads to a simplification of part of Talagrand's proof.
Joint work with Gil Kalai and Elchanan Mossel