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In this paper, we introduce the resource theory of unextendibility as a relaxation of the resource theory of entanglement. The free states in this resource theory are the -extendible states, associated with the inability to extend quantum entanglement in a given quantum state to multiple parties. The free channels are -extendible channels, which preserve the class of -extendible states. We define several quantifiers of unextendibility by means of generalized divergences and establish their properties. By utilizing this resource theory, we obtain nonasymptotic upper bounds on the rate at which quantum communication or entanglement preservation is possible over a finite number of uses of an arbitrary quantum channel assisted by -extendible channels at no cost. These bounds are significantly tighter than previously known bounds for both the depolarizing and erasure channels. Finally, we revisit the pretty strong converse for the quantum capacity of antidegradable channels and establish an upper bound on the nonasymptotic quantum capacity of these channels.

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Physical Review A