Structure of quantum stochastic processes with finite Markov order

Philip Guy Taranto, Simon Milz, Felix A Pollock, Kavan Modi

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Non-Markovian quantum processes exhibit different memory effects when measured in different ways; an unambiguous characterization of memory length requires accounting for the sequence of instruments applied to probe the system dynamics. This instrument-specific notion of quantum Markov order displays stark differences to its classical counterpart. Here, we explore the structure of quantum stochastic processes with finite memory length in detail. We begin by examining a generalized collision model with memory, before framing this instance within the general theory. We detail the constraints that are placed on the underlying system-environment dynamics for a process to exhibit finite Markov order with respect to natural classes of probing instruments, including deterministic (unitary) operations and sequences of generalized quantum measurements with informationally complete repreparations. Lastly, we show how processes with vanishing quantum conditional mutual information form a special case of the theory. Throughout, we provide a number of representative, pedagogical examples to display the salient features of memory effects in quantum processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number042108
Number of pages24
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2019


  • Dynamics
  • Trace distance
  • Environments

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