Optimum unambiguous discrimination of linearly independent pure states

Date: 2009-11-12
Authors Shengshi Pang (庞盛世) and Shengjun Wu (吴盛俊)
Journal No. Phys. Rev. A 80, 052320 (2009)
Abstract Given n linearly independent pure states and their prior probabilities, we study the optimum unambiguous state discrimination problem. We derive the conditions for the optimum measurement strategy to achieve the maximum average success probability and establish two sets of equations that must be satisfied by the optimum solution in different situations. We also provide the detailed steps to find the optimum measurement strategy. The method and results we obtain are given a geometrical illustration with a numerical example. Furthermore, using these equations, we derive a formula which shows a clear analytical relation between the optimum solution and the n states to be discriminated. We also solve a generalized equal-probability measurement problem analytically. Finally, as another application of our result, the unambiguous discrimination problem of three pure states is studied in detail and analytical solutions are obtained for some interesting cases.