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Two parties, Alice and Bob, wish to distill a binary secret key out of a list of correlated variables that they share after running a quantum key distribution (QKD) protocol based on continuous-spectrum quantum carriers. We present a novel construction that allows the legitimate parties to get equal bit strings out of correlated variables by using a classical channel, with as little leaked information as possible. This opens the way to securely correcting nonbinary key elements. In particular, the construction is refined to the case of Gaussian variables as it applies directly to recent continuous-variable protocols for QKD.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2004