A Framework for Non-Asymptotic Quantum Information Theory

Research paper by Marco Tomamichel

Indexed on: 05 Jul '13Published on: 05 Jul '13Published in: Quantum Physics


This thesis consolidates, improves and extends the smooth entropy framework for non-asymptotic information theory and cryptography. We investigate the conditional min- and max-entropy for quantum states, generalizations of classical R\'enyi entropies. We introduce the purified distance, a novel metric for unnormalized quantum states and use it to define smooth entropies as optimizations of the min- and max-entropies over a ball of close states. We explore various properties of these entropies, including data-processing inequalities, chain rules and their classical limits. The most important property is an entropic formulation of the asymptotic equipartition property, which implies that the smooth entropies converge to the von Neumann entropy in the limit of many independent copies. The smooth entropies also satisfy duality and entropic uncertainty relations that provide limits on the power of two different observers to predict the outcome of a measurement on a quantum system. Finally, we discuss three example applications of the smooth entropy framework. We show a strong converse statement for source coding with quantum side information, characterize randomness extraction against quantum side information and prove information theoretic security of quantum key distribution using an intuitive argument based on the entropic uncertainty relation.