Preprint A502/2007
The Complexity of Stoquastic Local Hamiltonian Problems

Barbara M. Terhal | Bravyi, Sergey | DiVincenzo, David P. | Oliveira, Roberto I.

**Keywords: **
Quantum spin systems | computational complexity

We study the complexity of the Local Hamiltonian Problem (denoted as LH-MIN) in the special case when a Hamiltonian obeys conditions of the Perron-Frobenius theorem: all off-diagonal matrix elements in the standard basis are real and non-positive. We will call such Hamiltonians, which are common in the natural world, stoquastic. An equivalent characterization of stoquastic Hamiltonians is that they have an entry-wise non-negative Gibbs density matrix for any temperature. We prove that LH-MIN for stoquastic Hamiltonians belongs to the complexity class AM -- a probabilistic version of NP with two rounds of communication between the prover and the verifier. We also show that 2-local stoquastic LH-MIN is hard for the class MA. With the additional promise of having a polynomial spectral gap, we show that stoquastic LH-MIN belongs to the class POSTBPP=BPPpath -- a generalization of BPP in which a post-selective readout is allowed. This last result also shows that any problem solved by adiabatic quantum computation using stoquastic Hamiltonians lies in PostBPP.