We introduce a randomized iterative fragmentation procedure for finite metric spaces, which is guaranteed to result in a polynomially large subset that is D-equivalent to an ultrametric, where D ∈ (2,∞) is a prescribed target distortion. Since this procedure works for D arbitrarily close to the nonlinear Dvoretzky phase transition at distortion 2, we thus obtain a much simpler probabilistic proof of the main result of , answering a question from , and yielding the best known bounds in the nonlinear Dvoretzky theorem. Our method utilizes a sequence of random scales at which a given metric space is fragmented. As in many previous randomized arguments in embedding theory, these scales are chosen irrespective of the geometry of the metric space in question. We show that our bounds are sharp if one utilizes such a "scale-oblivious" fragmentation procedure.
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