Quantum Hoare Logic with Ghost Variables


Quantum Hoare logic allows us to reason about quantum programs. We present an extension of quantum Hoare logic that introduces “ghost variables” to extend the expressive power of pre-/postconditions. Ghost variables are variables that do not actually occur in the program and are allowed to have arbitrary quantum states (in a sense, they are existentially quantified), and be entangled with program variables. Ghost variables allow us to express properties such as the distribution of a program variable or the fact that a variable has classical content. And as a case study, we show how quantum Hoare logic with ghost variables can be used to prove the security of the quantum one-time pad.

Proceedings of the 34th Annual ACM/IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science

LICS ‘19.