The Quantum Strong Exponential-Time Hypothesis

11/13/2019 ∙ by Harry Buhrman, et al. ∙ 0

The strong exponential-time hypothesis (SETH) is a commonly used conjecture in the field of complexity theory. It states that CNF formulas cannot be analyzed for satisfiability with a speedup over exhaustive search. This hypothesis and its variants gave rise to a fruitful field of research, fine-grained complexity, obtaining (mostly tight) lower bounds for many problems in P whose unconditional lower bounds are hard to find. In this work, we introduce a framework of Quantum Strong Exponential-Time Hypotheses, as quantum analogues to SETH. Using the QSETH framework, we are able to translate quantum query lower bounds on black-box problems to conditional quantum time lower bounds for many problems in BQP. As an example, we illustrate the use of the QSETH by providing a conditional quantum time lower bound of Ω(n^1.5) for the Edit Distance problem. We also show that the n^2 SETH-based lower bound for a recent scheme for Proofs of Useful Work, based on the Orthogonal Vectors problem holds for quantum computation assuming QSETH, maintaining a quadratic gap between verifier and prover.

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