Inserted: 26 sep 2017
Journal: J. Eur. Math. Soc.
Given a metric space $X$ we consider a general class of functionals which measure the cost of a path in $X$ joining two given points $x_0$ and $x_1$, providing abstract existence results for optimal paths. The results are then applied to the case when $X$ is a Wasserstein space of probabilities on a given set $\Omega$ and the cost of a path depends on the value of classical functionals over measures. Conditions to link arbitrary extremal measures $\mu_1$ and $\mu_2$ by means of finite cost paths are given.