# $X_1,X_2, X_3$ are independent random variables implies that are $X_1 + X_2, X_3$ are independent.

Intuitively, the statement in the question body is true.

My definition of independence:

Let $X_1, \dots, X_k$ be random variables. Then they are called independent if for all Borel measurable sets $A_1, \dots, A_k$, we have

$$\mathbb{P}\{X_1 \in A_1, \dots ,X_k \in A_k\} = \prod_{i=1}^k \mathbb{P}\{X_i \in A_i\}$$

I tried to prove the result with this definition but I can't detach the two variables from the sum, which makes me unsure that the claim is even true.

• Try to express the probability of the sum as a sum of probabilities.
– N74
Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 9:45
• You mean try to write $\mathbb{P}\{X_1 + X_2 \in A \}$ as a sum of probabilities?
– user370967
Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 9:55
• Exactly. If you manage to do it, you can then use your definition of independence over the sum.
– N74
Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 9:57
• I tried writing the probability in another way but can't find anything meaningful.
– user370967
Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 10:06
• $X_1,X_2,X_3$ independent implies that any (measurable) function of $X_1,X_2$ is also independent of $X_3$. Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 10:08

Let $$A_{12}$$ and $$A_1$$ be any two Borel measurable sets, let also $$\mu_1$$, $$\mu_2$$ and $$\mu_3$$ be the respective probability measures of $$X_1$$, $$X_2$$ and $$X_3$$. Since the latter are independent, then any joint probability measure of those would be the product and so we can do the Lebesgue integration

\begin{align*} \mathbb{P}(X_1 + X_2 \in A_{12},X_3\in A_3) &= \int \int\int \mathbb{1}(x_1 + x_2 \in A_{12},x_3\in A_3)d\mu_1d\mu_2d\mu_3\\ &=\int \int\int \mathbb{1}(x_1 + x_2 \in A_{12})\mathbb{1}(x_3\in A_3)d\mu_1 d\mu_2 d\mu_3\\ &=\int\int\mathbb{1}(x_1 + x_2 \in A_{12}) d\mu_1 d\mu_2 \int \mathbb{1}(x_3\in A_3)d\mu_3\\ &=\mathbb{P}(X_1+X_2\in A_{12}) \mathbb{P}(X_3\in A_3) \end{align*}

So yes $$X_1+X_2$$ and $$X_3$$ are independent.

Let's try without the Lebesgue integration, we can show that $$Y=(X_1, X_2)$$ is independent of $$X_3$$ since for any Borel mesurable sets $$A_1$$, $$A_2$$, $$A_3$$ \begin{align*} \mathbb{P}(Y\in A_1\times A_2,X_3\in A_3)&=\mathbb{P}(X_1\in A_1, X_2\in A_2, X_3 \in A_3)\\ &=\mathbb{P}(X_1\in A_1, X_2\in A_2) \mathbb{P}(X_3\in A_3)\\ &=\mathbb{P}(Y\in A_1\times A_2) \mathbb{P}(X_3\in A_3) \end{align*}

Now let $$f$$ be any deterministic function over the domain of $$Y$$ and $$f^{-1}(Z)=\lbrace y | f(y)\in Z\rbrace$$, then for Borel measurable sets $$A_0$$, $$A_3$$ \begin{align*} \mathbb{P}(f(Y)\in A_0,X_3\in A_3)&=\mathbb{P}(Y\in f^{-1}(A_0),X_3\in A_3)\\ &=\mathbb{P}(Y\in f^{-1}(A_0))\mathbb{P}(X_3\in A_3)\\ &=\mathbb{P}(f(Y)\in A_0)\mathbb{P}(X_3\in A_3)\\ \end{align*}

So $$f(Y)$$ is independent of $$X_3$$.

• Thanks. So the answer uses lebesgue integration?
– user370967
Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 11:14
• Well, it can. The Lebesgue integration permits to see the separation. Another way of justifying it intuitively would be to say that since $X_1$, $X_2$ and $X_3$ are independents, then $Y=(X_1, X_2)$ is independent of $X_3$, then any deterministic function of $Y$ preserves independence. Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 11:16
• Hello! Thanks for your answer. When you split $\mathbb{1}(x_1 + x_2 \in A_{12},x_3\in A_3)$ into two functions in the second equality of your first displayed equation, aren't you assuming $X_1+X_2$ and $X_3$ are independent, which you are trying to show?
– psie
Commented Jul 11 at 22:16
• @psie No, $x_1, x_2, x_3 \to 1(x_1+x_2\in A_{12}, x_3\in A_3)$ is a function that is equal to the product of the functions $x_1, x_2, x_3 \to 1(x_1+x_2\in A_{12})$ and $x_1, x_2, x_3 \to 1(x_3\in A_3)$, indeed their product is $1$ if and only if both $x_1+x_2\in A_{12}$ and $x_3\in A_3$. Commented Jul 12 at 7:14