The Abstract Structure of Quantum Algorithms

Research paper by William Zeng

Indexed on: 25 Dec '15Published on: 25 Dec '15Published in: Quantum Physics


Quantum information brings together theories of physics and computer science. This synthesis challenges the basic intuitions of both fields. In this thesis, we show that adopting a unified and general language for process theories advances foundations and practical applications of quantum information. Our first set of results analyze quantum algorithms with a process theoretic structure. We contribute new constructions of the Fourier transform and Pontryagin duality in dagger symmetric monoidal categories. We then use this setting to study generalized unitary oracles and give a new quantum blackbox algorithm for the identification of group homomorphisms, solving the GROUPHOMID problem. In the remaining section, we construct a novel model of quantum blackbox algorithms in non-deterministic classical computation. Our second set of results concerns quantum foundations. We complete work begun by Coecke et al., definitively connecting the Mermin non-locality of a process theory with a simple algebraic condition on that theory's phase groups. This result allows us to offer new experimental tests for Mermin non-locality and new protocols for quantum secret sharing. In our final chapter, we exploit the shared process theoretic structure of quantum information and distributional compositional linguistics. We propose a quantum algorithm adapted from Weibe et al. to classify sentences by meaning. The clarity of the process theoretic setting allows us to recover a speedup that is lost in the naive application of the algorithm. The main mathematical tools used in this thesis are group theory (esp. Fourier theory on finite groups), monoidal category theory, and categorical algebra.