Exceptional quantum walk search on the cycle
Quantum walks are standard tools for searching graphs for marked vertices, and they often yield quadratic speedups over a classical random walk’s hitting time. In some exceptional cases, however, the system only evolves by sign flips, staying in a uniform probability distribution for all time. We prove that the one-dimensional periodic lattice or cycle with any arrangement of marked vertices is such an exceptional configuration. Using this discovery, we construct a search problem where the quantum walk’s random sampling yields an arbitrary speedup in query complexity over the classical random walk’s hitting time. In this context, however, the mixing time to prepare the initial uniform state is a more suitable comparison than the hitting time, and then, the speedup is roughly quadratic.