STOC 2024 · 56th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, Vancouver, Canada, June 2024
Our upper bound holds in the classical, deterministic LOCAL model, while the near-matching lower bound holds in the non-signaling model. This model, introduced by Arfaoui and Fraigniaud in 2014, captures all models of distributed graph algorithms that obey physical causality; this includes not only classical deterministic LOCAL and randomized LOCAL but also quantum-LOCAL, even with a pre-shared quantum state.
We also show that similar arguments can be used to prove that, e.g., 3-coloring 2-dimensional grids or $c$-coloring trees remain hard problems even for the non-signaling model, and in particular do not admit any quantum advantage. Our lower-bound arguments are purely graph-theoretic at heart; no background on quantum information theory is needed to establish the proofs.