Exponential communication gap between weak and strong classical simulations of quantum communication
The most trivial way to simulate classically the communication of a quantum state is to transmit the classical description of the quantum state itself. However, this requires an infinite amount of classical communication if the simulation is exact. A more intriguing and potentially less demanding strategy would encode the full information about the quantum state into the probability distribution of the communicated variables, so that this information is never sent in each single shot. This kind of simulation is called weak, as opposed to strong simulations, where the quantum state is communicated in individual shots. In this paper, we introduce a bounded-error weak protocol for simulating the communication of an arbitrary number of qubits and a subsequent two-outcome measurement consisting of an arbitrary pure state projector and its complement. This protocol requires an amount of classical communication independent of the number of qubits and proportional to Delta^-1, where Delta is the error and a free parameter of the protocol. Conversely, a bounded-error strong protocol requires an amount of classical communication growing exponentially with the number of qubits for a fixed error. Our result improves a previous protocol, based on the Johnson-Lindenstrauss lemma, with communication cost scaling as Delta^-2 log Delta^-1.