Electronic Journal of Statistics

Estimation of low rank density matrices by Pauli measurements

Dong Xia

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Density matrices are positively semi-definite Hermitian matrices with unit trace that describe the states of quantum systems. Many quantum systems of physical interest can be represented as high-dimensional low rank density matrices. A popular problem in quantum state tomography (QST) is to estimate the unknown low rank density matrix of a quantum system by conducting Pauli measurements. Our main contribution is twofold. First, we establish the minimax lower bounds in Schatten $p$-norms with $1\leq p\leq+\infty$ for low rank density matrices estimation by Pauli measurements. In our previous paper [14], these minimax lower bounds are proved under the trace regression model with Gaussian noise and the noise is assumed to have common variance. In this paper, we prove these bounds under the Binomial observation model which meets the actual model in QST.

Second, we study the Dantzig estimator (DE) for estimating the unknown low rank density matrix under the Binomial observation model by using Pauli measurements. In our previous papers [14] and [25], we studied the least squares estimator and the projection estimator, where we proved the optimal convergence rates for the least squares estimator in Schatten $p$-norms with $1\leq p\leq2$ and, under a stronger condition, the optimal convergence rates for the projection estimator in Schatten $p$-norms with $1\leq p\leq+\infty$. In this paper, we show that the results of these two distinct estimators can be simultaneously obtained by the Dantzig estimator. Moreover, better convergence rates in Schatten norm distances can be proved for Dantzig estimator under conditions weaker than those needed in [14] and [25]. When the objective function of DE is replaced by the negative von Neumann entropy, we obtain sharp convergence rate in Kullback-Leibler divergence.

Article information

Electron. J. Statist., Volume 11, Number 1 (2017), 50-77.

Received: October 2016
First available in Project Euclid: 5 January 2017

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Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 62J99: None of the above, but in this section 81P50: Quantum state estimation, approximate cloning
Secondary: 62H12: Estimation

Quantum state tomography low rank Schatten $p$-norms density matrix


Xia, Dong. Estimation of low rank density matrices by Pauli measurements. Electron. J. Statist. 11 (2017), no. 1, 50--77. doi:10.1214/16-EJS1222. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ejs/1483585973

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