### Abstract

This paper develops the resource theory of asymmetric distinguishability for quantum channels, generalizing the related resource theory for states [arXiv:1006.0302, arXiv:1905.11629]. The key constituents of the channel resource theory are quantum channel boxes, consisting of a pair of quantum channels, which can be manipulated for free by means of an arbitrary quantum superchannel (the most general physical transformation of a quantum channel). One main question of the resource theory is the approximate channel box transformation problem, in which the goal is to transform an initial channel box (or boxes) to a final channel box (or boxes), while allowing for an asymmetric error in the transformation. The channel resource theory is richer than its counterpart for states because there is a wider variety of ways in which this question can be framed, either in the one-shot or $n$-shot regimes, with the latter having parallel and sequential variants. As in [arXiv:1905.11629], we consider two special cases of the general channel box transformation problem, known as distinguishability distillation and dilution. For the one-shot case, we find that the optimal values of the various tasks are equal to the non-smooth or smooth channel min- or max-relative entropies, thus endowing all of these quantities with operational interpretations. In the asymptotic sequential setting, we prove that the exact distinguishability cost is equal to channel max-relative entropy and the distillable distinguishability is equal to the amortized channel relative entropy of [arXiv:1808.01498]. This latter result can also be understood as a solution to Stein’s lemma for quantum channels in the sequential setting. Finally, the theory simplifies significantly for environment-seizable and classical–quantum channel boxes.

Publication

*Physical Review Research*