Comment: Will boson-sampling ever disprove the Extended Church-Turing thesis?

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Boson-sampling is a highly simplified, but non-universal, approach to implementing optical quantum computation. It was shown by Aaronson & Arkhipov that this protocol cannot be efficiently classically simulated unless the polynomial hierarchy collapses, which would be a shocking result in computational complexity theory. Based on this, numerous authors have made the claim that experimental boson-sampling would provide evidence against, or disprove, the Extended Church-Turing thesis — that any physically realisable system can be efficiently simulated on a Turing machine. We argue against this claim on the basis that, under a general, physically realistic independent error model, boson-sampling does not implement a provably hard computational problem in the asymptotic limit of large systems.

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