|dc.description.abstract||We aim to counter the tendency for specialization in science by advancing a language that can facilitate the translation of ideas and methods between disparate contexts. The methods we address relate to questions of "resource-theoretic nature". In a resource theory, one identifies resources and allowed manipulations that can be used to transform them. Some of the main questions are: How to optimize resources? What are the trade-offs between them? Can a given resource be converted to another one via the allowed manipulations?
Because of the ubiquity of such questions, methods for answering them in one context can be used to tackle corresponding questions in new contexts. The translation occurs in two stages. Firstly, concrete methods are generalized to the abstract language to find under what conditions they are applicable. Then, one can determine whether potentially novel contexts satisfy these conditions. Here, we mainly focus on the first part of this two-stage process.
The thesis starts with a more thorough introduction to resource theories and our perspective on them in chapter 1. Chapter 2 then provides a selection of mathematical ideas that we make heavy use of in the rest of the manuscript.
In chapter 3, we present two variants of the abstract framework, whose relations to existing ones are summarized in table 1.1. The first one, universally combinable resource theories, offers a structure in which resources, desired tasks, and resource manipulations may all be viewed as "generalized resources". Blurring these distinctions, whenever appropriate, is a simplification that lets us understand the abstract results in elementary terms. It offers a slightly distinct point of view on resource theories from the traditional one, in which resources and their manipulations are considered independently. In this sense, the second framework in terms of quantale modules follows the traditional conception.
Using these, we make contributions towards the task of generalizing concrete methods in chapter 4 by studying the ways in which meaningful measures of resources may be constructed. One construction expresses a notion of cost (or yield) of a resource, summarized in its generalized form in theorems 4.21 and 4.22. Among other applications, this construction may be used to extend measures from a subset of resources to a larger domain—such as from states to channels and other processes.
Another construction allows the translation of resource measures between resource theories. A particularly useful version thereof is the translation of measures of distinguishability to other resource theories, which we study in detail. Special cases include resource robustness and weight measures as well as relative entropy based measures quantifying minimal distinguishability from freely available resources.
We instantiate some of these ideas in a resource theory of distinguishability in chapter 5. It describes the utility of systems with probabilistic behavior for the task of distinguishing between hypotheses, which said behavior may depend on.||en