In this paper, we introduce a new partial order on quantum states that considers which states can be achieved from others by updating on “agreeing” Bayesian evidence. We prove that this order can also be interpreted in terms of minimising worst case distinguishability between states using the concept of quantum max-divergence. This order solves the problem of which states are optimal approximations to their more pure counterparts, and it shows in an explicit way that a proposed quantum analog of Bayes’ rule leads to a Bayesian update that changes the state as little as possible when updating on positive evidence. We prove some structural properties of the order, specifically that the order preserves convex mixtures and tensor products of states and that it is a domain. The uniqueness of the order given these properties is discussed. Finally we extend this order on states to one on quantum channels using the Jamiołkowski isomorphism. This order turns the spaces of unital/non-unital trace-preserving quantum channels into domains that, unlike the regular order on channels, is not trivial for unital trace-preserving channels.
The QPE order is actually an example of a pospace: The graph induced by the order is closed in the space DO(n) × DO(n).
In the language of category theory: That the order structure is an enrichment of the category.