Contextuality, cohomology and paradox

Samson Abramsky, Rui Soares Barbosa, Kohei Kishida, Raymond Lal, Shane Mansfield

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Contextuality is a key feature of quantum mechanics that provides an important non-classical resource for quantum information and computation. Abramsky and Brandenburger used sheaf theory to give a general treatment of contextuality in quantum theory [New Journal of Physics 13 (2011) 113036]. However, contextual phenomena are found in other fields as well, for example database theory. In this paper, we shall develop this unified view of contextuality. We provide two main contributions: first, we expose a remarkable connection between contexuality and logical paradoxes; secondly, we show that an important class of contextuality arguments has a topological origin. More specifically, we show that "All-vs-Nothing" proofs of contextuality are witnessed by cohomological obstructions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication24th EACSL Annual Conference on Computer Science Logic, CSL 2015
EditorsStephan Kreutzer
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783939897903
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event24th EACSL Annual Conference on Computer Science Logic, CSL 2015 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Sep 7 2015Sep 10 2015

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Conference24th EACSL Annual Conference on Computer Science Logic, CSL 2015


  • Cohomology
  • Contextuality
  • Logical paradoxes
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Sheaf theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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