[Resource Topic] 2023/1686: The Quantum Decoding Problem

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The Quantum Decoding Problem

Authors: André Chailloux, Jean-Pierre Tillich


One of the founding results of lattice based cryptography is a quantum reduction from the Short Integer Solution problem to the Learning with Errors problem introduced by Regev. It has recently been pointed out by Chen, Liu and Zhandry that this reduction can be made more powerful by replacing the learning with errors problem with a quantum equivalent, where the errors are given in quantum superposition. In the context of codes, this can be adapted to a reduction from finding short codewords to a quantum decoding problem for random linear codes.

We therefore consider in this paper the quantum decoding problem, where we are given a superposition of noisy versions of a codeword and we want to recover the corresponding codeword.
When we measure the superposition, we get back the usual classical decoding problem for which the best known algorithms are in the constant rate and
error-rate regime exponential in the codelength. However, we will show here that when the noise rate is small enough, then the quantum decoding problem can be solved
in quantum polynomial time. Moreover, we also show that the problem can in principle be solved quantumly (albeit not efficiently) for noise rates for which the associated classical decoding problem cannot
be solved at all for information theoretic reasons.

We then revisit Regev’s reduction in the context of codes. We show that using our algorithms for the quantum decoding problem in Regev’s reduction matches the best known quantum algorithms for the short codeword problem. This shows in some sense the tightness of Regev’s reduction when considering the quantum decoding problem and also paves the way for new quantum algorithms for the short codeword problem.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/1686

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