# Total Variation Distance

The total variation (TV) distance is a way of quantifying the distance between probability distributions.
Suppose \(p(x), q(x)\) are two probability mass functions with support on set \(X\). Then
the total variation distance is:

\[TV(p, q) \equiv ||p - q|| := \frac{1}{2} \sum_{x \in X} |p(x) - q(x)| = max_{A \subseteq X} p(A) - q(A)\]
## Properties

- Let \(J\) be a joint distribution over \(X, Y\), where \(p\) is the marginal distribution over
\(X\) and \(q\) is the marginal distribution over \(Y\). Then

\[||p - q|| \leq \mathbb{P}[X \neq Y]\]
Furthermore, \(\exists J^*\) such that this is an equality.

**Proof**: Let \(A\) be the subset of