Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Complexity of Entangled Games

  • Author(s): Vidick, Thomas
  • Advisor(s): Vazirani, Umesh V
  • et al.

Entanglement is at the heart of quantum mechanics. The nonlocal correlations that can be obtained from space-time separated measurements on an entangled state are a central feature which provably distinguish it from local theories. This dissertation studies entanglement through a computational viewpoint. We develop new insights into the complex nature of entanglement by studying its role in multiplayer games, in which cooperating, but non-communicating, players interact with a referee in an attempt to win a pre-specified game. On the one hand, the nonlocal correlations that entanglement allows may enable players using it to develop new colluding strategies, defeating previously secure protocols. On the other, the richness of this new resource may also be exploited in order to design new protocols, providing solutions to problems previously deemed impossible. We explore both aspects of this dual nature of entanglement, putting limits on its strength while at the same time showing how it can be put to profit to solve new computational problems.

A major unresolved question on the computational complexity of multiplayer entangled games is the power of MIP*, the class of languages having entangled multi-prover interactive proofs: how does it relate to its purely classical analogue MIP, which was completely characterized through the fundamental equation MIP=NEXP? Since the players may use entanglement to increase their odds at colluding against the verifier, MIP* could potentially be a much weaker class than MIP. Indeed, for a long time it has been an open question whether two entangled provers are more useful than a single prover.

In this thesis we resolve this question by showing that the class of languages having multiprover interactive proofs with entangled provers is at least as large as its classical counterpart: NEXP is included in MIP*. At the heart of this result is an analysis of the multilinearity test of Babai, Fortnow, and Lund in the presence of entanglement. The fact that this test remains sound gives a systematic way for a verifier to impose strong limits on the ability of entangled provers to collude against the verifier.

Gap amplification is a fundamental primitive in the study of classical multiplayer games. While sequential repetition of a game always decreases the prover's maximum success probability at an exponential rate, the fact that parallel repetition also achieves a gap amplification is a highly non-trivial fact. We show that gap amplification can be performed in parallel even in the presence of entanglement between the provers. We adapt a technique which was originally introduced by Feige and Kilian and results in a polynomial rate of amplification.

The phenomenon of monogamy of entanglement states, in first approximation, that if two parties are maximally entangled then they cannot simultaneously be entangled with a third party. We use this phenomenon in two distinct results. In the first, we show that the bits generated in our randomness-expansion protocol

are certifiably random even from the point of view of a quantum adversary who may share prior entanglement with the provers. In addition, we prove the security against quantum adversaries of a randomness-efficient extractor construction originally due to Trevisan. This lets us transform the high-entropy bits that are generated in our protocol into ones that are almost indistinguishable from uniform by any adversary.

More generally, we show how the monogamy of entanglement can be exploited to design multi-prover interactive proof systems that are partially entanglement-resistant. Quantitative bounds on the monogamy of entanglement have generally been elusive, and the analysis of our protocol demonstrates such a bound in a new context.

The nonlocal correlations that can be created by entangled players provide a statistical means of differentiating them from classical, unentangled players. This is the main idea behind Bell inequalities, the violation of which demonstrates the nonlocality of quantum mechanics. We show how this phenomenon may be exploited to design a protocol in which the bits produced by successful players necessarily contain a large quantity of fresh randomness. The presence of randomness is guaranteed irrespective of the provers' actual strategy, as long as the sole constraint of no signaling is respected. Hence a statistical certification for the presence of randomness, a feat easily seen to be impossible to achieve classically.

In order to manipulate the random bits produced in our protocol, and make them useful in cryptography, we give the first proof of security of a poly-logarithmic seed extractor secure against quantum adversaries. To achieve this we adapt the reconstruction paradigm originally introduced by Trevisan to the quantum setting.

We study other ways in which entanglement may be used in interactive proof systems by also allowing a quantum interaction between the referee and the players. We show that, using entanglement, the class of QMIP* proof systems can be parallelized to only three rounds of interaction, and made public-coin, a property that does not hold in the absence of entanglement between the provers.

Main Content
Current View