Approximate Degradable Quantum Channels

David Sutter, Volkher B. Scholz, Andreas Winter, Renato Renner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Degradable quantum channels are an important class of completely positive trace-preserving maps. Among other properties, they offer a single-letter formula for the quantum and the private classical capacity and are characterized by the fact that a complementary channel can be obtained from the channel by applying a degrading channel. In this paper, we introduce the concept of approximate degradable channels, which satisfy this condition up to some finite ≥ 0. That is, there exists a degrading channel which upon composition with the channel is close in the diamond norm to the complementary channel. We show that for any fixed channel the smallest such can be efficiently determined via a semidefinite program. Moreover, these approximate degradable channels also approximately inherit all other properties of degradable channels. As an application, we derive improved upper bounds to the quantum and private classical capacity for certain channels of interest in quantum communication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8046086
Pages (from-to)7832-7844
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Quantum capacity
  • degradable channels
  • depolarizing channel
  • private classical capacity
  • semidefinite programming
  • upper bounds


Dive into the research topics of 'Approximate Degradable Quantum Channels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this