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Section: New Results

Sub-Riemannian Geometry and Optimal Transport

Participants : Zeinab Badreddine, André Belotto Da Silva [University of Toronto] , Ludovic Rifford.

We have studied the Sard Conjecture and its link with the problem of existence and uniqueness of an optimal transport map for a cost given by the square of a sub-Riemannian distance. Given a totally non-holonomic distribution on a smooth manifold, the Sard Conjecture is concerned with the the size of the set of points that can be reached by singular horizontal paths starting from a same point. In the setting of rank-two distributions in dimension three, the Sard conjecture states that that set should be a subset of the so-called Martinet surface of 2-dimensional Hausdorff measure zero. In [24], A. Belotto da Silva and L. Rifford proved that the conjecture holds in the case where the Martinet surface is smooth. Moreover, they address the case of singular real-analytic Martinet surfaces and show that the result holds true under an assumption of non-transversality of the distribution on the singular set of the Martinet surface. The methods rely on the control of the divergence of vector fields generating the trace of the distribution on the Martinet surface and some techniques of resolution of singularities. In a work in progress, the control on the divergence of this "generating" vector field is the key ingredient used by Z. Badreddine to obtain results of existence and uniqueness of optimal transport map for rank-two distribution in dimension four.