Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

SIAM Journal on Computing


Department of Computer Science

Additional Department

Department of Mathematics


Many quantum algorithms, including Shor’s celebrated factoring and discrete log algorithms, proceed by reduction to a hidden subgroup problem, in which an unknown subgroupH of a group G must be determined from a quantum state ψ over G that is uniformly supported on a left coset of H. These hidden subgroup problems are typically solved by Fourier sampling: the quantum Fourier transform of ψ is computed and measured. When the underlying group is nonabelian, two important variants of the Fourier sampling paradigm have been identified: the weak standard method, where only representation names are measured, and the strong standard method, where full measurement (i.e., the row and column of the representation, in a suitably chosen basis, as well as its name) occurs. It has remained open whether the strong standard method is indeed stronger, that is, whether there are hidden subgroups that can be reconstructed via the strong method but not by the weak, or any other known, method. In this article, we settle this question in the affirmative. We show that hidden subgroups H of the q-hedral groups, i.e., semidirect productsZq 􏰀 Zp, where q | (p − 1), and in particular the affine groups Ap, can be information-theoretically reconstructed using the strong standard method. Moreover, if |H| = p/polylog(p), these subgroups can be fully reconstructed with a polynomial amount of quantum and classical computation. We compare our algorithms to two weaker methods that have been discussed in the literature—the “forgetful” abelian method, and measurement in a random basis—and show that both of these are weaker than the strong standard method. Thus, at least for some families of groups, it is crucial to use the full power of representation theory and nonabelian Fourier analysis, namely, to measure the high- dimensional representations in an adapted basis that respects the group’s subgroup structure. We apply our algorithm for the hidden subgroup problem to new families of cryptographically motivatedhidden shift problems, generalizing the work of van Dam, Hallgren, and Ip on shifts of multiplicative characters. Finally, we close by proving a simple closure property for the class of groups over which the hidden subgroup problem can be solved efficiently.



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