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On Perfect Completeness for QMA Scott Aaronson

Summary: On Perfect Completeness for QMA
Scott Aaronson
Whether the class QMA (Quantum Merlin Arthur) is equal to QMA1, or QMA with one-
sided error, has been an open problem for years. This note helps to explain why the problem
is difficult, by using ideas from real analysis to give a "quantum oracle" relative to which
QMA = QMA1. As a byproduct, we find that there are facts about quantum complexity
classes that are classically relativizing but not quantumly relativizing, among them such "trivial"
containments as BQP ZQEXP.
1 Introduction
The complexity class MA (Merlin-Arthur) was introduced by Babai [4] in 1985. Intuitively, MA
is a probabilistic version of NP; it contains all problems for which an omniscient wizard Merlin
can convince a probabilistic polynomial-time verifier Arthur of a "yes" answer, by a one-round
protocol in which Merlin sends Arthur a purported proof z, and then Arthur checks z. In the
usual definition, if the answer to the problem is "yes" then there should exist a string z that makes
Arthur accept with probability at least 2/3 (this property is called completeness), while if the
answer is "no" then no z should make Arthur accept with probability more than 1/3 (this property
is called soundness).
One of the first questions people asked about MA was whether it can be made to have perfect


Source: Aaronson, Scott - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Collections: Physics; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences