Bounding the benefit of adaptivity in quantum metrology using the relative fidelity

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Protocols for discriminating between a pair of channels or for estimating a channel parameter can often be aided by adaptivity or by entanglement between the probe states. For large numbers of channel uses, this can make it difficult to bound the best possible performance for such protocols. In this paper, we introduce a quantity that we call the relative fidelity of a given pair of channels and a pair of input states to those channels. Constraining the allowed input states to all pairs of states whose fidelity is greater than some minimum "input fidelity" and minimising this quantity over the valid pairs of states, we get the minimum relative fidelity for that input fidelity constraint. We are then able to lower bound the fidelity between the possible output states of any protocol acting on one of two possible channels in terms of the minimum relative fidelity. This allows us to bound the performance of discrimination and parameter estimation protocols, as well as to rule out perfect discrimination for certain pairs of channels, even using the most general, adaptive protocols. By finding a continuity bound for the relative fidelity, we are also able to provide a simple proof that the quantum Fisher information (QFI) of the output of an $N$-use protocol is no more than $N^2$ times the one-shot QFI.
Original languageEnglish
Article number150501
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021

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11 pages, 3 figures, supplementary files in source.
© 2021 American Physical Society. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • quant-ph

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