# Exploring Quantum Average-Case Distances: proofs, properties, and examples

arXiv (Cornell University)（2022）

Abstract

In this work, we perform an in-depth study of recently introduced average-case quantum distances. The average-case distances approximate the average Total-Variation (TV) distance between measurement outputs of two quantum processes, in which quantum objects of interest (states, measurements, or channels) are intertwined with random circuits. Contrary to conventional distances, such as trace distance or diamond norm, they quantify $\textit{average-case}$ statistical distinguishability via random circuits. We prove that once a family of random circuits forms an $\delta$-approximate $4$-design, with $\delta=o(d^{-8})$, then the average-case distances can be approximated by simple explicit functions that can be expressed via degree two polynomials in objects of interest. We prove that those functions, which we call quantum average-case distances, have a plethora of desirable properties, such as subadditivity, joint convexity, and (restricted) data-processing inequalities. Notably, all of the distances utilize the Hilbert-Schmidt norm which provides an operational interpretation it did not possess before. We also derive upper bounds on the maximal ratio between worst-case and average-case distances. For each dimension $d$ this ratio is at most $d^{\frac{1}{2}},\ d, \ d^{\frac{3}{2}}$ for states, measurements, and channels, respectively. To support the practical usefulness of our findings, we study multiple examples in which average-case quantum distances can be calculated analytically. Furthermore, we perform an extensive numerical study of systems up to 12 qubits where circuits have a form of variational ans\"atze with randomly chosen parameters. Despite the fact that such circuits are not known to form unitary designs, our results suggest that average-case distances are more suitable than the conventional distances for studying the performance of NISQ devices in such settings.

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