# Variational quantum state discriminator for supervised machine learning

21 November 2023 at 00:00

Quantum state discrimination (QSD) is a fundamental task in quantum information processing with numerous applications. We present a variational quantum algorithm that performs the minimum-error QSD, called the variational quantum state discriminator (VQSD). The VQSD uses a parameterized quantum circuit that is trained by minimizing a cost function derived from the QSD, and finds the optimal positive-operator valued measure (POVM) for distinguishing target quantum states. The VQSD is capable of discriminating even unknown states, eliminating the need for expensive quantum state tomography. Our numerical simulations and comparisons with semidefinite programming demonstrate the effectiveness of the VQSD in finding optimal POVMs for minimum-error QSD of both pure and mixed states. In addition, the VQSD can be utilized as a supervised machine learning algorithm for multi-class classification. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve obtained in numerical simulations with the Iris flower dataset ranges from 0.97 to 1 with an average of 0.985, demonstrating excellent performance of the VQSD classifier.