The quantum marginal independence problem
We investigate whether the presence or absence of correlations between subsystems of an N-partite quantum system is solely constrained by the non-negativity and monotonicity of mutual information. We argue that this relatively simple question is in fact very deep because it is sensitive to the structure of the set of N-partite states. It can be informed by inequalities satisfied by the von Neumann entropy, but has the advantage of being more tractable. We exemplify this by deriving the explicit solution for N=4, despite having limited knowledge of the entropic inequalities. Furthermore, we describe how this question can be tailored to the analysis of more specialized classes of states such as classical probability distributions, stabilizer states, and geometric states in the holographic gauge/gravity duality.