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Sculpting Quantum Speedups

Authors Scott Aaronson, Shalev Ben-David

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Scott Aaronson
Shalev Ben-David

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Scott Aaronson and Shalev Ben-David. Sculpting Quantum Speedups. In 31st Conference on Computational Complexity (CCC 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 50, pp. 26:1-26:28, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


Given a problem which is intractable for both quantum and classical algorithms, can we find a sub-problem for which quantum algorithms provide an exponential advantage? We refer to this problem as the "sculpting problem." In this work, we give a full characterization of sculptable functions in the query complexity setting. We show that a total function f can be restricted to a promise P such that Q(f|_P)=O(polylog(N)) and R(f|_P)=N^{Omega(1)}, if and only if f has a large number of inputs with large certificate complexity. The proof uses some interesting techniques: for one direction, we introduce new relationships between randomized and quantum query complexity in various settings, and for the other direction, we use a recent result from communication complexity due to Klartag and Regev. We also characterize sculpting for other query complexity measures, such as R(f) vs. R_0(f) and R_0(f) vs. D(f). Along the way, we prove some new relationships for quantum query complexity: for example, a nearly quadratic relationship between Q(f) and D(f) whenever the promise of f is small. This contrasts with the recent super-quadratic query complexity separations, showing that the maximum gap between classical and quantum query complexities is indeed quadratic in various settings - just not for total functions! Lastly, we investigate sculpting in the Turing machine model. We show that if there is any BPP-bi-immune language in BQP, then every language outside BPP can be restricted to a promise which places it in PromiseBQP but not in PromiseBPP. Under a weaker assumption, that some problem in BQP is hard on average for P/poly, we show that every paddable language outside BPP is sculptable in this way.
  • Quantum Computing
  • Query Complexity
  • Decision Tree Complexity
  • Structural Complexity


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