*Preprint*

**Inserted:** 13 dec 2015

**Last Updated:** 13 dec 2015

**Pages:** 56

**Year:** 2015

**Abstract:**

We give a complete answer to which homogeneous groups admit homogeneous distances for which the Besicovitch Covering Property (BCP) holds. In particular, we prove that a stratified group admits homogeneous distances for which BCP holds if and only if the group has step 1 or 2. These results are obtained as consequences of a more general study of homogeneous quasi-distances on graded groups. Namely, we prove that a positively graded group admits continuous homogeneous quasi-distances satisfying BCP if and only if any two different layers of the associated positive grading of its Lie algebra commute. The validity of BCP has several consequences. Its connections with the theory of differentiation of measures is one of the main motivations of the present paper. As a consequence of our results, we get for instance that a stratified group can be equipped with some homogeneous distance so that the differentiation theorem holds for each locally finite Borel measure if and only if the group has step 1 or 2. The techniques developed in this paper allow also us to prove that sub-Riemannian distances on stratified groups of step 2 or higher never satisfy BCP. Using blow-up techniques this is shown to imply that on a sub-Riemannian manifold the differentiation theorem does not hold for some locally finite Borel measure.

**Keywords:**
Carnot groups, Sub-Riemannian Manifolds, Covering Theorems, Graded Groups, Homogeneous Distances, Differentiation of Measures

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