Optimization of coherent attacks in generalizations of the BB84 quantum bit commitment protocol

Abstract

It is well known that no quantum bit commitment protocol is unconditionally secure. Nonetheless, there can be non-trivial upper bounds on both Bob’s probability of correctly estimating Alice’s commitment and Alice’s probability of successfully unveiling whatever bit she desires. In this paper, we seek to determine these bounds for generalizations of the BB84 bit commitment protocol. In such protocols, an honest Alice commits to a bit by randomly choosing a state from a specified set and submitting this to Bob, and later unveils the bit to Bob by announcing the chosen state, at which point Bob measures the projector onto the state. Bob’s optimal cheating strategy can be easily deduced from well known results in the theory of quantum state estimation. We show how to understand Alice’s most general cheating strategy, (which involves her submitting to Bob one half of an entangled state) in terms of a theorem of Hughston, Jozsa and Wootters. We also show how the problem of optimizing Alice’s cheating strategy for a fixed submitted state can be mapped onto a problem of state estimation. Finally, using the Bloch ball representation of qubit states, we identify the optimal coherent attack for a class of protocols that can be implemented with just a single qubit. These results provide a tight upper bound on Alice’s probability of successfully unveiling whatever bit she desires in the protocol proposed by Aharonov et al., and lead us to identify a qubit protocol with even greater security.

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Cite this paper

@article{Spekkens2002OptimizationOC, title={Optimization of coherent attacks in generalizations of the BB84 quantum bit commitment protocol}, author={Robert W. Spekkens and Terry Rudolph}, journal={Quantum Information & Computation}, year={2002}, volume={2}, pages={66-96} }