The Renyi entropy of order $\beta$, for a discrete probability distribution $p$ is given by \begin{equation} H_{\beta}(p) = \frac{1}{1 - \beta} ~\log \left( \sum_{i \in S} p(i)^{\beta} \right), \end{equation} where $S$ is the set of all strings in the support of $p$.

As is mentioned here, for two discrete distributions $p$ and $r$ the Renyi entropy of the product distribution $p \times r$ is

\begin{equation} H_{\beta}(p \times r) = H_{\beta}(p) + H_{\beta}(r). \end{equation}

What might be a proof of this fact?

  • $\begingroup$ what applications does Renyi entropy have in quantum $\endgroup$
    – develarist
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 4:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A quantum variant of the classical Renyi entropy appear in a lot of places in quantum information theory. Properties of the same can be found here: scholarpedia.org/article/Quantum_entropies. $\endgroup$
    – BlackHat18
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 9:34

1 Answer 1


This only holds if the two distributions are independent. In this case $$ \begin{aligned} H_{\beta}(p \times q) &= \frac{1}{1-\beta} \log\left( \sum_{i,j}(p(i) q(j))^{\beta} \right) \\ &= \frac{1}{1-\beta} \log\left( \left(\sum_{i}p(i)^{\beta}\right) \left(\sum_jq(j)^{\beta}\right) \right) \\ &= \frac{1}{1-\beta} \left(\log \left(\sum_{i}p(i)^{\beta}\right) + \log \left(\sum_{j}q(j)^{\beta}\right)\right) \\ &= H_{\beta}(p) + H_{\beta}(q) . \end{aligned} $$


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