Physical Review A, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics vol:65 issue:3 pages:030302
Recently, a lot of attention has been devoted to finding physically realizable operations that realize as closely as possible certain desired transformations between quantum states, e. g., quantum cloning, teleportation, quantum gates, etc. Mathematically, this problem boils down to finding a completely positive trace-preserving (CPTP) linear map that maximizes the (mean) fidelity between the map itself and the desired transformation. In this communication, we want to draw attention to the fact that this problem belongs to the class of so-called semidefinite programming (SDP) problems. As SDP problems are convex, it immediately follows that they do not suffer from local optima. Furthermore, this implies that the numerical optimization of the CPTP map can, and should, be done using methods from the well-established SDP field, as these methods exploit convexity and are guaranteed to converge to the real solution. Finally, we show how the duality inherent to convex and SDP problems can be exploited to prove analytically the optimality of a proposed solution. We give an example of how to apply this proof method by proving the optimality of Hardy and Song's optimal qubit theta shifter (e-print quant-ph/0102100).