Natural Computing

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 13–17 | Cite as

Oblivious transfer and quantum channels as communication resources

  • Nicolas Gisin
  • Sandu Popescu
  • Valerio Scarani
  • Stefan Wolf
  • Jürg Wullschleger


We show that from a communication-complexity perspective, the primitive called oblivious transfer—which was introduced in a cryptographic context—can be seen as the classical analogue to a quantum channel in the same sense as non-local boxes are of maximally entangled qubits. More explicitly, one realization of non-cryptographic oblivious transfer allows for the perfect simulation of sending one qubit and measuring it in an orthogonal basis. On the other hand, a qubit channel allows for realizing non-cryptographic oblivious transfer with probability roughly 85 %, whereas 75 % is the classical limit.


Classical teleportation Quantum channel Communication complexity Oblivious transfer 



This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). We thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Gisin
    • 1
  • Sandu Popescu
    • 2
  • Valerio Scarani
    • 3
  • Stefan Wolf
    • 4
  • Jürg Wullschleger
    • 5
  1. 1.Group of Applied PhysicsUniversity of GenevaGeneva 4Switzerland
  2. 2.H. H. Wills Physics LaboratoryUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  3. 3.Centre for Quantum TechnologiesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Faculty of InformaticsUniversity of LuganoLuganoSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of MathematicsUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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