# Proof of independence of $\bar{X}$ and $S^2$: Trouble understanding $n$-dimensional Jacobian Result

I'm trying to work through the proof given here that the sample mean and sample variance of a random sample $X_1, X_2, ..., X_n \sim N(\mu,\sigma^2)$ are independent.

The part I can't seem to follow is the assertion that the Jacobian of the transformations...

$$Y_1 = \bar{X} \\ Y_2 = X_2 - \bar{X} \\ \vdots \\ Y_n = X_n - \bar{X} \\$$

is equal to $n$. I must be missing something simple, but when I create the matrix of partial derivatives, the determinant seems to always be one?

$$\det\begin{bmatrix} \frac{dY_1}{d\bar{X}} & \frac{dY_1}{dX_2} & \dots & \frac{dY_1}{dX_n} \\ \frac{dY_2}{d\bar{X}} & \frac{dY_2}{dX_2} & \dots & \frac{dY_2}{dX_n} \\ \vdots & \vdots & \ddots & \vdots \\ \frac{dY_n}{d\bar{X}} & \frac{dY_n}{dX_2} & \dots & \frac{dY_n}{dX_n} \\ \end{bmatrix} = \det\begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 & \dots & 0 \\ -1 & 1 & \dots & 0 \\ \vdots & \vdots & \ddots & \vdots \\ -1 & 0 & \dots & 1 \\ \end{bmatrix} = 1$$

How am I setting up the Jacobian incorrectly? Thanks in advance!

• the differentials have to be with respect to $X_1,X_2,X_3,....,X_n$. Hope you would get it now.... – mint Feb 7 '16 at 23:01
• Thanks, substituting $\bar{X} = \frac{1}{n}\sum_{i=0}^nX_i$ creates a matrix with a determinant of $\frac{1}{n}$. – Ben Southgate Feb 7 '16 at 23:28

Comments: This result is true only for normal data.

The idea is to do an orthogonal transformation in which one of the new random variables is a function of $\bar X$ and the other $n-1$ are a function of $S^2$. For a multivariate normal, orthogonality is equivalent to independence.

You might start with $n = 2$ where the proof is especially simple. Let $Y_1 = X_1 + X_2$ and $Y_2 = X_1 - X_2.$ (A 45 degree rotation.) If $X_1$ and $X_2$ are independent, then so are $Y_1$ and $Y_2.$ It is obvious that $\bar X$ is a function of $Y_1,$ and not difficult to show that $S^2$ is a function of $Y_2$.

Illustration of independence of $\bar X$ and $S$ for normal, but not for nonnormal data: In each of the panels below 30,000 samples of size 5 are simulated, standard normal on the left and $Beta(.5, .5)$ on the right. In both cases, sample correlations are consistent with $\rho = 0$ (by symmetry). For normal data, $\bar X$ and $S$ are independent, and for beta data, they are obviously not. (The figure at right illustrates that a 5-D hypercube has been 'squashed' onto two dimensions. $Beta(.5,.5)$ puts most of its probability near corners, edges and (hyper)faces, images of some of these, after 'squashing', are discernible.) In case you want it, the R code is shown below.

 par(mfrow=c(1,2))
m = 30000;  n = 5
DTA = matrix(rnorm(m*n), nrow=m)  # each row a sample of size n
a = rowMeans(DTA);  s = apply(DTA, 1, sd)  # sample mean and sd
cor(a,s)
## -0.0066071
plot(a, s, pch=".", main="Normal: Mean vs SD")
m = 30000;  n = 5
DTA = matrix(rbeta(m*n, .5, .5), nrow=m)  # non-normal data
a = rowMeans(DTA);  s = apply(DTA, 1, sd)  # sample mean and sd
cor(a,s)
## -0.005415171
plot(a, s, pch=".", main="BETA: Mean vs SD")
par(mfrow=c(1,1))