Quantum Chernoff bound as a measure of distinguishability between density matrices: Application to qubit and Gaussian states

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Abstract

Hypothesis testing is a fundamental issue in statistical inference and has been a crucial element in the development of information sciences. The Chernoff bound gives the minimal Bayesian error probability when discriminating two hypotheses given a large number of observations. Recently the combined work of Audenaert [Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 160501 (2007)] and Nussbaum and Szkola [e-print arXiv:quant-ph/0607216] has proved the quantum analog of this bound, which applies when the hypotheses correspond to two quantum states. Based on this quantum Chernoff bound, we define a physically meaningful distinguishability measure and its corresponding metric in the space of states; the latter is shown to coincide with the Wigner-Yanase metric. Along the same lines, we define a second, more easily implementable, distinguishability measure based on the error probability of discrimination when the same local measurement is performed on every copy. We study some general properties of these measures, including the probability distribution of density matrices, defined via the volume element induced by the metric. It is shown that the Bures and the local-measurement based metrics are always proportional. Finally, we illustrate their use in the paradigmatic cases of qubits and Gaussian infinite-dimensional states. © 2008 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number032311
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Volume77
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2008

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