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Title: Limitations of Local Quantum Algorithms on Random Max-k-XOR and Beyond
We introduce a notion of \emph{generic local algorithm} which strictly generalizes existing frameworks of local algorithms such as \emph{factors of i.i.d.} by capturing local \emph{quantum} algorithms such as the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA). Motivated by a question of Farhi et al. [arXiv:1910.08187, 2019] we then show limitations of generic local algorithms including QAOA on random instances of constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs). Specifically, we show that any generic local algorithm whose assignment to a vertex depends only on a local neighborhood with o(n) other vertices (such as the QAOA at depth less than ϵlog(n)) cannot arbitrarily-well approximate boolean CSPs if the problem satisfies a geometric property from statistical physics called the coupled overlap-gap property (OGP) [Chen et al., Annals of Probability, 47(3), 2019]. We show that the random MAX-k-XOR problem has this property when k≥4 is even by extending the corresponding result for diluted k-spin glasses. Our concentration lemmas confirm a conjecture of Brandao et al. [arXiv:1812.04170, 2018] asserting that the landscape independence of QAOA extends to logarithmic depth -- in other words, for every fixed choice of QAOA angle parameters, the algorithm at logarithmic depth performs almost equally well on almost all instances. One of these concentration lemmas is a strengthening more » of McDiarmid's inequality, applicable when the random variables have a highly biased distribution, and may be of independent interest. « less
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  2. Abstract

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