In mathematics — specifically, in ergodic theory — a maximising measure is a particular kind of probability measure. Informally, a probability measure μ is a maximising measure for some function f if the integral of f with respect to μ is "as big as it can be". The theory of maximising measures is relatively young and quite little is known about their general structure and properties.


Let X be a topological space and let T : X → X be a continuous function. Let Inv(T) denote the set of all Borel probability measures on X that are invariant under T, i.e., for every Borel-measurable subset A of X, μ(T−1(A)) = μ(A). (Note that, by the Krylov-Bogolyubov theorem, if X is compact and metrizable, Inv(T) is non-empty.) Define, for continuous functions f : X → R, the maximum integral function β by

A probability measure μ in Inv(T) is said to be a maximising measure for f if