Round complexity in the local transformations of quantum and classical states

Eric Chitambar, Min Hsiu Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In distributed quantum and classical information processing, spatially separated parties operate locally on their respective subsystems, but coordinate their actions through multiple exchanges of public communication. With interaction, the parties can perform more tasks. But how the exact number and order of exchanges enhances their operational capabilities is not well understood. Here we consider the minimum number of communication rounds needed to perform the locality-constrained tasks of entanglement transformation and its classical analog of secrecy manipulation. We provide an explicit construction of both quantum and classical state transformations which, for any given r, can be achieved using r rounds of classical communication exchanges, but no fewer. To show this, we build on the common structure underlying both resource theories of quantum entanglement and classical secret key. Our results reveal that highly complex communication protocols are indeed necessary to fully harness the information-theoretic resources contained in general quantum and classical states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2086
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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