Stochastic o and O symbols

Stochastic o and O symbols are the basic symbols for Asymptotic Statistics or Large Sample Theory.

(i) A_{n}=o_{p}(B_{n}): if |\frac{A_{n}}{b_{n}}|\stackrel{P}{\to}0.

sequence of random variables A_{n} is of smaller order in probability than a sequence B_{n}.

In particular, A_{n}=o_{p}(1), “small oh-P-one”, if and only if A_{n}\stackrel{P}{\to}0; so A_{n}=o_{p}(B_{n}) means A_{n}=Y_{n}B_{n} and Y_{n}\stackrel{P}{\to}0.

Example: X=o_{p}(1) means X\stackrel{P}{\to}0, and X=o_{p}(n^{-1/2}) means n^{1/2}X\stackrel{P}{\to}0, or X goes to 0 faster than \frac{1}{n^{1/2}} in probability(such as X=\frac{1}{n}).

(ii) A_{n}=O_{p}(B_{n}) : if given \epsilon>0, there exists a constant M=M(\epsilon) and an integer n_{0}=n_{0}(\epsilon) such that P(|A_{n}|\leq M|B_{n}|)\geq1-\epsilon for all n>n_{0}.

sequence A_{n} is be of order less than or equal to that of B_{n} in probability.

In particular, A_{n}=O{}_{p}(1), “big oh-P-one”, if for any\epsilon>0, there exists a constant M and an integer n_{0} such that P(|A_{n}|\leq M)\geq1-\epsilon for all n>n_{0}, A_{n} is said to be bounded in probability(or tight); so A_{n}=O_{p}(B_{n}) means A_{n}=Y_{n}B_{n} and Y_{n}=O_{p}(1).

It’s easy to see from the definition that O_{p}(1)=O_{p}(C) for any constant 0<C<\infty.

(iii) A_{n}\asymp_{p}B_{n}: if given \epsilon>0, there exist constants 0<m<M<\infty and an integer n_{0} such that P[m<|\frac{A_{n}}{B_{n}}|<M]\geq1-\epsilon for all n>n_{0}.

sequence A_{n} is said to be of the same order as B_{n} in probability.

Some facts:

o_{p}(1)+o_{p}(1)=o_{p}(1): If X_{n}\stackrel{P}{\to}0 and Y_{n}\stackrel{P}{\to}0, then Z_{n}=X_{n}+Y_{n}\stackrel{P}{\to}0. (example of continuous-mapping theorem)


O_{p}(1)o_{p}(1)=o_{p}(1): If the sequence \{Y_{n},n=1,2,\cdots\} is bounded in probability and if \{C_{n}\} is a sequence of random variables tending to 0 in probability, then C_{n}Y_{n}\stackrel{P}{\to}0.





Lemma: Let R be a function defined on domain in \mathcal{R}^{k} such that R(0)=0. Let X_{n} be a sequence of random vectors with values in the domain of R that converges in probability to zero. Then, for every p>0,

(i) if R(h)=o(||h||^{p}) as h\to0, then R(X_{n})=o_{p}(||X_{n}||^{p});

(ii) if R(h)=O(||h||^{p}) as h\to0, then R(X_{n})=O_{p}(||X_{n}||^{p});

Result: For a random variable S, S=ES+O_{p}(\sqrt{Var(S})).


We only needs to prove that (S-ES)/\sqrt{Var(S)}=O_{p}(1) or equally, for any\epsilon>0, there exists a constant M and an integer n_{0} such that P(|(S-ES)/\sqrt{Var(S)}|\leq M)\geq1-\epsilon for all n>n_{0}.

Let NS=(S-ES)/\sqrt{Var(S)},

According to Markov inequality, P(|NS|\leq M)\geq ENS^{2}/M^{2}=[E(S-ES)^{2}/Var(S)]/M^{2}=1/M^{2}\to0 as M\to\infty.

From the proof above we know that for any normalized random variable NS=(S-ES)/\sqrt{Var(S)}, we have NS=O_{p}(1), or NS is bounded in probability- the reason is natural, if any random variable is not bounded, either its mean is too large(E(S_{n})\to\infty) or it varies too much(Var(S_{n})\to\infty), and normalization will eliminate those two possibilities. On the other hand, for a specified random variable S, if ES<\infty and Var(S)<\infty, then S=ES+O_{p}(1), especially, when ES=0, S=O_{p}(1) .

Example: from center limit theorem we know that \sqrt{n}(\bar{X}-EX)\to N(0,DX), then we have


//\bar{X}=EX+O_{p}(1)\times n^{-1/2}=EX+O_{p}(n^{-1/2})//.

P(\frac{\sqrt{n}(\bar{X}-EX)}{DX}>M )\to P(Z>M),\ Z\sim N(0,1). P(Z>M) can be smaller than \forall\epsilon as long as M is large enough, so \frac{\sqrt{n}(\bar{X}-EX)}{DX}=O_p(1), or \bar{X}=EX+O_{p}(n^{-1/2}).

The weak law of large numbers states that \bar{X}\stackrel{P}{\to}EX, so we have


(Update: 2012/Feb/17) Similarly, let X_{n} be a sequence of random vectors, using Markov inequality P(|X_{n}|>M)\leq\frac{E|X_{n}|^{k}}{M^{k}}, we have

1. If there is a number k>0 such that E|X_{n}|^{k} is bounded, then X_{n}=O_{p}(1);
similarly, if E|X_{n}|^{k}\leq ca_{n}, where c is a constant and a_{n} is a sequence of positive numbers,
then X_{n}=O_{p}(a_{n}^{1/k}).

2. If there is a number k>0 such that E|X_{n}|^{k}\to0 (So M can be \epsilon), then X_{n}=o_{p}(1);
similarly, if E|X_{n}|^{k}\leq ca_{n}, where c is a constant and a_{n} is a sequence of positive numbers,
then X_{n}=o_{p}(b_{n}) for any sequence b_{n}>0 such that b_{n}^{-1}a_{n}^{1/k}\to0.

3. If there are sequences of vectors \{\mu_{n}\} and singularization matrices \{A_{n}\} such that A_{n}(X_{n}-\mu_{n}) converges in distribution, then X_{n}=\mu_{n}+O_{p}(||A_{n}^{-1}||).


Elements of Large-Sample Theory, E.L. Lehmann, 1998

Asymptotic Statistics, A. W. van der Vaart, 2000

Linear and Generalized Linear Mixed Models and Their Applications, Jiming Jiang, 2006

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