Inserted: 19 jun 2019
Last Updated: 21 jun 2019
We prove comparison theorems for the sub-Riemannian distortion coefficients appearing in interpolation inequalities. These results, which are equivalent to a sub-Laplacian comparison theorem for the sub-Riemannian distance, are obtained by introducing a suitable notion of sub-Riemannian Bakry-Émery curvature. The model spaces for comparison are variational problems coming from optimal control theory. As an application we establish the sharp measure contraction property for 3-Sasakian manifolds satisfying a suitable curvature bound.