By Mountogiannakis A.G., Papanastasiou P., Pirandola S.
Submitted to arXiv on 20 May 2022.
The performance of a practical continuous-variable (CV) quantum key distribution (QKD) protocol depends significantly, apart from the loss and noise of the quantum channel, on the post-processing steps which lead to the extraction of the final secret key. A critical step is the reconciliation process, especially when one assumes finite-size effects in a composable framework. Here, we focus on the Gaussian-modulated coherent-state protocol with heterodyne detection in a high signal-to-noise ratio regime. We simulate the quantum communication process and we post-process the output data by applying parameter estimation, error correction (using high-rate, non-binary low-density parity-check codes), and privacy amplification. This allows us to study the performance for practical implementations of the protocol and optimize the parameters connected to the steps above. We also present an associated Python library performing the steps above.