Categories of Empirical Models

Martti Karvonen
(University of Edinburgh)

A notion of morphism that is suitable for the sheaf-theoretic approach to contextuality is developed, resulting in a resource theory for contextuality. The key features involve using an underlying relation rather than a function between measurement scenarios, and allowing for stochastic mappings of outcomes to outcomes. This formalizes an intuitive idea of using one empirical model to simulate another one with the help of pre-shared classical randomness. This allows one to reinterpret concepts and earlier results in terms of morphisms. Most notably: non-contextual models are precisely those allowing a morphism from the terminal object; contextual fraction is functorial; Graham-reductions induce morphisms, reinterpreting Vorob'evs theorem; contextual models cannot be cloned.

In Peter Selinger and Giulio Chiribella: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Quantum Physics and Logic (QPL 2018), Halifax, Canada, 3-7th June 2018, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 287, pp. 239–252.
Published: 31st January 2019.

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