Exponential Separation of Quantum Communication and Classical Information

TitleExponential Separation of Quantum Communication and Classical Information
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAnshu, A, Touchette, D, Yao, P, Yu, N
Conference Name20th Annual Conference on Quantum Information Processing (QIP)
Date Published2016/11/28

We exhibit a Boolean function for which the quantum communication complexity is exponentially larger than the classical information complexity. An exponential separation in the other direction was already known from the work of Kerenidis et. al. [SICOMP 44, pp. 1550-1572], hence our work implies that these two complexity measures are incomparable. As classical information complexity is an upper bound on quantum information complexity, which in turn is equal to amortized quantum communication complexity, our work implies that a tight direct sum result for distributional quantum communication complexity cannot hold. The function we use to present such a separation is the Symmetric k-ary Pointer Jumping function introduced by Rao and Sinha [ECCC TR15-057], whose classical communication complexity is exponentially larger than its classical information complexity. In this paper, we show that the quantum communication complexity of this function is polynomially equivalent to its classical communication complexity. The high-level idea behind our proof is arguably the simplest so far for such an exponential separation between information and communication, driven by a sequence of round-elimination arguments, allowing us to simplify further the approach of Rao and Sinha. 
As another application of the techniques that we develop, we give a simple proof for an optimal trade-off between Alice's and Bob's communication while computing the related Greater-Than function on n bits: say Bob communicates at most b bits, then Alice must send n/exp(O(b)) bits to Bob. This holds even when allowing pre-shared entanglement. We also present a classical protocol achieving this bound.