Quantum walks on quotient graphs
Abstract
A discretetime quantum walk on a graph Γ is the repeated application of a unitary evolution operator to a Hilbert space corresponding to the graph. If this unitary evolution operator has an associated group of symmetries, then for certain initial states the walk will be confined to a subspace of the original Hilbert space. Symmetries of the original graph, given by its automorphism group, can be inherited by the evolution operator. We show that a quantum walk confined to the subspace corresponding to this symmetry group can be seen as a different quantum walk on a smaller quotient graph. We give an explicit construction of the quotient graph for any subgroup H of the automorphism group and illustrate it with examples. The automorphisms of the quotient graph which are inherited from the original graph are the original automorphism group modulo the subgroup H used to construct it. The quotient graph is constructed by removing the symmetries of the subgroup H from the original graph. We then analyze the behavior of hitting times on quotient graphs. Hitting time is the average time it takes a walk to reach a given final vertex from a given initial vertex. It has been shown in earlier work [Phys. Rev. A 74, 042334 (2006)] that the hitting time for certain initial states of a quantum walks can be infinite, in contrast to classical random walks. We give a condition which determines whether the quotient graph has infinite hitting times given that they exist in the original graph. We apply this condition for the examples discussed and determine which quotient graphs have infinite hitting times. All known examples of quantum walks with hitting times which are short compared to classical random walks correspond to systems with quotient graphs much smaller than the original graph; we conjecture that the existence of a small quotient graph with finite hitting times is necessary for a walk to exhibit a quantum speedup.
 Publication:

Physical Review A
 Pub Date:
 June 2007
 DOI:
 10.1103/PhysRevA.75.062332
 arXiv:
 arXiv:quantph/0701173
 Bibcode:
 2007PhRvA..75f2332K
 Keywords:

 03.67.Lx;
 05.40.Fb;
 Quantum computation;
 Random walks and Levy flights;
 Quantum Physics
 EPrint:
 18 pages, 7 figures in EPS format