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Given a sequence of nonnegative numbers $t_1,\ldots, t_n\geq 0$,it satisfies that $\sum_{i=1}^n t_i=1$, and $$\left|t_1-\frac{t_n+t_2}{2}\right|+\left(\sum_{i=2}^{n-1}\left|t_i-\frac{t_{i-1}+t_{i+1}}{2}\right|\right)+\left|t_n-\frac{t_{n-1}+t_1}{2}\right|=\epsilon\leq 1,$$ where $\epsilon$ is a small constant. What is the best upper bound on $$\left(\sum_{i=1}^{n-1}\left|t_{i+1}-t_i\right|\right)+\left|t_n-t_1\right|?$$ Can we have an upper bound only depends on $\epsilon$? I tried several examples, the upper bounds are $O(\sqrt{\epsilon})$.

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Consider a triangle wave with step size $\frac\epsilon2$. Then $\left|t_i-\frac{t_{i-1}+t_{i+1}}{2}\right|=0$ for all $i$ except at the top and bottom of the wave, where that value equals $\frac\epsilon2$. We then have $$\left(\sum_{i=1}^{n-1}\left|t_{i+1}-t_i\right|\right)+\left|t_n-t_1\right| = n\frac\epsilon2.$$

Illustration: enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean triangle waves? Note that $t_i\geq 0$. If $|t_i-\frac{t_{i-1}+t_{i+1}}{2}|=0$ for $i=2\ldots, n-1$, then $t_1,\ldots, t_n$ are monotone. $\endgroup$ – user07001129 Dec 21 '15 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ I mean something like $$t_i = \frac1n + \frac{n\epsilon}8 - \frac\epsilon2\left|i-\left(\frac n2+1\right)\right|.$$ Then $\left|t_i-\frac{t_{i-1}+t_{i+1}}{2}\right| = 0$ only when $i=1$ (the trough) and $i=\frac n2+1$ (the peak). $\endgroup$ – Théophile Dec 21 '15 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ I see. In this case, $\epsilon=O(\frac{1}{n^2})$ as $\sum_i t_i=1$, then the bound $\frac{n}{2}\epsilon=O(\sqrt{\epsilon})$. $\endgroup$ – user07001129 Dec 21 '15 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that seems right. $\endgroup$ – Théophile Dec 21 '15 at 23:24

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