State retrieval beyond Bayes’ retrodiction

Jacopo Surace and Matteo Scandi

ICFO - Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Castelldefels (Barcelona), 08860, Spain

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In the context of irreversible dynamics, associating to a physical process its intuitive reverse can result to be a quite ambiguous task. It is a standard choice to define the reverse process using Bayes' theorem, but, in general, this choice is not optimal. In this work we explore whether it is possible to characterise an optimal reverse map building from the concept of state retrieval maps. In doing so, we propose a set of principles that state retrieval maps should satisfy. We find out that the Bayes inspired reverse is just one case in a whole class of possible choices, which can be optimised to give a map retrieving the initial state more precisely than the Bayes rule. Our analysis has the advantage of naturally extending to the quantum regime. In fact, we find a class of reverse transformations containing the Petz recovery map as a particular case, corroborating its interpretation as quantum analogue of the Bayes retrieval. Finally, we present numerical evidences that by adding a single extra axiom one can isolate the usual reverse process derived from Bayes' theorem.

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