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Yesterday — 29 November 2023Main stream

Quantum Deep Hedging

Quantum 7, 1191 (2023).

Quantum machine learning has the potential for a transformative impact across industry sectors and in particular in finance. In our work we look at the problem of hedging where deep reinforcement learning offers a powerful framework for real markets. We develop quantum reinforcement learning methods based on policy-search and distributional actor-critic algorithms that use quantum neural network architectures with orthogonal and compound layers for the policy and value functions. We prove that the quantum neural networks we use are trainable, and we perform extensive simulations that show that quantum models can reduce the number of trainable parameters while achieving comparable performance and that the distributional approach obtains better performance than other standard approaches, both classical and quantum. We successfully implement the proposed models on a trapped-ion quantum processor, utilizing circuits with up to $16$ qubits, and observe performance that agrees well with noiseless simulation. Our quantum techniques are general and can be applied to other reinforcement learning problems beyond hedging.

Before yesterdayMain stream

Energy measurements remain thermometrically optimal beyond weak coupling

Quantum 7, 1190 (2023).

We develop a general perturbative theory of finite-coupling quantum thermometry up to second order in probe-sample interaction. By assumption, the probe and sample are in thermal equilibrium, so the probe is described by the mean-force Gibbs state. We prove that the ultimate thermometric precision can be achieved – to second order in the coupling – solely by means of local energy measurements on the probe. Hence, seeking to extract temperature information from coherences or devising adaptive schemes confers no practical advantage in this regime. Additionally, we provide a closed-form expression for the quantum Fisher information, which captures the probe's sensitivity to temperature variations. Finally, we benchmark and illustrate the ease of use of our formulas with two simple examples. Our formalism makes no assumptions about separation of dynamical timescales or the nature of either the probe or the sample. Therefore, by providing analytical insight into both the thermal sensitivity and the optimal measurement for achieving it, our results pave the way for quantum thermometry in setups where finite-coupling effects cannot be ignored.

Efficient classical algorithms for simulating symmetric quantum systems

Quantum 7, 1189 (2023).

In light of recently proposed quantum algorithms that incorporate symmetries in the hope of quantum advantage, we show that with symmetries that are restrictive enough, classical algorithms can efficiently emulate their quantum counterparts given certain classical descriptions of the input. Specifically, we give classical algorithms that calculate ground states and time-evolved expectation values for permutation-invariant Hamiltonians specified in the symmetrized Pauli basis with runtimes polynomial in the system size. We use tensor-network methods to transform symmetry-equivariant operators to the block-diagonal Schur basis that is of polynomial size, and then perform exact matrix multiplication or diagonalization in this basis. These methods are adaptable to a wide range of input and output states including those prescribed in the Schur basis, as matrix product states, or as arbitrary quantum states when given the power to apply low depth circuits and single qubit measurements.

Variational Quantum Linear Solver

Quantum 7, 1188 (2023).

Previously proposed quantum algorithms for solving linear systems of equations cannot be implemented in the near term due to the required circuit depth. Here, we propose a hybrid quantum-classical algorithm, called Variational Quantum Linear Solver (VQLS), for solving linear systems on near-term quantum computers. VQLS seeks to variationally prepare $|x\rangle$ such that $A|x\rangle\propto|b\rangle$. We derive an operationally meaningful termination condition for VQLS that allows one to guarantee that a desired solution precision $\epsilon$ is achieved. Specifically, we prove that $C \geqslant \epsilon^2 / \kappa^2$, where $C$ is the VQLS cost function and $\kappa$ is the condition number of $A$. We present efficient quantum circuits to estimate $C$, while providing evidence for the classical hardness of its estimation. Using Rigetti's quantum computer, we successfully implement VQLS up to a problem size of $1024\times1024$. Finally, we numerically solve non-trivial problems of size up to $2^{50}\times2^{50}$. For the specific examples that we consider, we heuristically find that the time complexity of VQLS scales efficiently in $\epsilon$, $\kappa$, and the system size $N$.

Solve single photon detector problems

By: Hao Shu
21 November 2023 at 14:26

Quantum 7, 1187 (2023).

Single photon detector(SPD) problems arise in most quantum tasks, especially for measuring states going through high-lost channels. They are particularly prominent in quantum key distribution(QKD), which could be the most significant application in quantum information theory. In recent years, QKD distance has been improved dramatically but is still restricted because the bit error rate(QBER) caused by SPD dark counts will be out of control as the distance increases. If this problem can be solved, QKD can be implemented over arbitrarily long distances. However, previous solutions often result in impractical requirements such as superconductors while they can only reduce the dark count rate to finite low levels. In this paper, we solve SPD problems with today's technologies only. Although it is the no-cloning theorem that prevents a state from being measured multiple times to obtain a more reliable result, we propose a scheme circumventing the no-cloning theorem in certain tasks to allow a single state to be employed several times. The scheme demonstrates that imperfect detectors can provide nearly perfect results, namely, the QBER caused by dark counts can be reduced to arbitrarily low while in the meantime, detective efficiency can be improved to arbitrarily high. Consequently, QKD distance is not limited by the imperfect SPD anymore and can be improved from hundreds of kilometers to thousands without high-technology detectors. Furthermore, similar schemes can be applied for reducing measurement errors or improving the performance of sources. Finally, it is worth noting that although the paper is mainly discussed in the context of QKD, our scheme is an independent scheme that could be employed in other protocols wherever SPD are employed.

NISQ-compatible approximate quantum algorithm for unconstrained and constrained discrete optimization

Quantum 7, 1186 (2023).

Quantum algorithms are getting extremely popular due to their potential to significantly outperform classical algorithms. Yet, applying quantum algorithms to optimization problems meets challenges related to the efficiency of quantum algorithms training, the shape of their cost landscape, the accuracy of their output, and their ability to scale to large-size problems. Here, we present an approximate gradient-based quantum algorithm for hardware-efficient circuits with amplitude encoding. We show how simple linear constraints can be directly incorporated into the circuit without additional modification of the objective function with penalty terms. We employ numerical simulations to test it on $\texttt{MaxCut}$ problems with complete weighted graphs with thousands of nodes and run the algorithm on a superconducting quantum processor. We find that for unconstrained $\texttt{MaxCut}$ problems with more than 1000 nodes, the hybrid approach combining our algorithm with a classical solver called CPLEX can find a better solution than CPLEX alone. This demonstrates that hybrid optimization is one of the leading use cases for modern quantum devices.

Abstraqt: Analysis of Quantum Circuits via Abstract Stabilizer Simulation

Quantum 7, 1185 (2023).

Stabilizer simulation can efficiently simulate an important class of quantum circuits consisting exclusively of Clifford gates. However, all existing extensions of this simulation to arbitrary quantum circuits including non-Clifford gates suffer from an exponential runtime. To address this challenge, we present a novel approach for efficient stabilizer simulation on arbitrary quantum circuits, at the cost of lost precision. Our key idea is to compress an exponential sum representation of the quantum state into a single $abstract$ summand covering (at least) all occurring summands. This allows us to introduce an $\textit{abstract stabilizer simulator}$ that efficiently manipulates abstract summands by $over-approximating$ the effect of circuit operations including Clifford gates, non-Clifford gates, and (internal) measurements. We implemented our abstract simulator in a tool called Abstraqt and experimentally demonstrate that Abstraqt can establish circuit properties intractable for existing techniques.

Synergetic quantum error mitigation by randomized compiling and zero-noise extrapolation for the variational quantum eigensolver

Quantum 7, 1184 (2023).

We propose a quantum error mitigation strategy for the variational quantum eigensolver (VQE) algorithm. We find, via numerical simulation, that very small amounts of coherent noise in VQE can cause substantially large errors that are difficult to suppress by conventional mitigation methods, and yet our proposed mitigation strategy is able to significantly reduce these errors. The proposed strategy is a combination of previously reported techniques, namely randomized compiling (RC) and zero-noise extrapolation (ZNE). Intuitively, randomized compiling turns coherent errors in the circuit into stochastic Pauli errors, which facilitates extrapolation to the zero-noise limit when evaluating the cost function. Our numerical simulation of VQE for small molecules shows that the proposed strategy can mitigate energy errors induced by various types of coherent noise by up to two orders of magnitude.

Actis: A Strictly Local Union–Find Decoder

14 November 2023 at 11:58

Quantum 7, 1183 (2023).

Fault-tolerant quantum computing requires classical hardware to perform the decoding necessary for error correction. The Union–Find decoder is one of the best candidates for this. It has remarkably organic characteristics, involving the growth and merger of data structures through nearest-neighbour steps; this naturally suggests the possibility of its realisation using a lattice of simple processors with nearest-neighbour links. In this way the computational load can be distributed with near-ideal parallelism. Here we show for the first time that this strict (rather than partial) locality is practical, with a worst-case runtime $\mathcal O(d^3)$ and mean runtime subquadratic in the surface code distance $d$. A novel parity-calculation scheme is employed which can simplify previously proposed architectures, and our approach is optimised for circuit-level noise. We compare our local realisation with one augmented by long-range links; while the latter is of course faster, we note that local asynchronous logic could negate the difference.

Bounding the Minimum Time of a Quantum Measurement

Quantum 7, 1182 (2023).

Measurements take a singular role in quantum theory. While they are often idealized as an instantaneous process, this is in conflict with all other physical processes in nature. In this Letter, we adopt a standpoint where the interaction with an environment is a crucial ingredient for the occurrence of a measurement. Within this framework, we derive lower bounds on the time needed for a measurement to occur. Our bound scales proportionally to the change in entropy of the measured system, and decreases as the number of of possible measurement outcomes or the interaction strength driving the measurement increases. We evaluate our bound in two examples where the environment is modelled by bosonic modes and the measurement apparatus is modelled by spins or bosons.

Composite Quantum Simulations

14 November 2023 at 11:16

Quantum 7, 1181 (2023).

In this paper we provide a framework for combining multiple quantum simulation methods, such as Trotter-Suzuki formulas and QDrift into a single Composite channel that builds upon older coalescing ideas for reducing gate counts. The central idea behind our approach is to use a partitioning scheme that allocates a Hamiltonian term to the Trotter or QDrift part of a channel within the simulation. This allows us to simulate small but numerous terms using QDrift while simulating the larger terms using a high-order Trotter-Suzuki formula. We prove rigorous bounds on the diamond distance between the Composite channel and the ideal simulation channel and show under what conditions the cost of implementing the Composite channel is asymptotically upper bounded by the methods that comprise it for both probabilistic partitioning of terms and deterministic partitioning. Finally, we discuss strategies for determining partitioning schemes as well as methods for incorporating different simulation methods within the same framework.

UK’s NCSC Releases White Paper to Help Organizations to Prepare for Post-Quantum Cryptographic Threats

13 November 2023 at 10:03
waves, particles, atom

Insider Brief

  • The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) new white paper addresses post-quantum cryptography.
  • The white paper offers several steps that businesses can integrate into their cybersecurity plans and budgets.
  • NSCS experts promote a strategy of preparedness and not panic.

The advent of quantum computing presents both an extraordinary leap in processing capabilities and a significant threat to current cryptographic infrastructure. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has recently addressed this duality with the release of a detailed white paper, aimed at guiding organizations through the shift from traditional public key cryptography (PKC) to post-quantum cryptography (PQC).

PQC, also known as quantum-safe or quantum-resistant cryptography, is not just a theoretical construct; it is a burgeoning field of cryptographic science. The NCSC’s white paper presents call for businesses and governments to recognize the quantum threat and to begin planning for a transition to quantum-resistant algorithms.

“Quantum computers use properties of quantum mechanics to compute in a fundamentally different way from today’s digital, ‘classical’, computers. They are, theoretically, capable of performing certain computations that would not be feasible for classical computers. Although advances in quantum computing technology continue to be made, quantum computers today are still limited, and suffer from relatively high error rates in each operation they perform,” the centre’s experts write, adding “In the future, it is possible that error rates can be lowered such that a large, general-purpose quantum computer could exist. It is, however, impossible to predict when this may happen as many engineering and physical challenges must be overcome first.”

If those challenges are surmounted, the experts write that most traditional public key cryptography (PKC) algorithms in use today will be vulnerable to quantum attacks.

The advice from the NCSC , then, is clear: “The best mitigation against the threat of quantum computers to traditional PKC is post-quantum cryptography (PQC). PQC algorithms will replace the vulnerable PKC algorithms used today for both key establishment and digital signatures. The security of PQC algorithms is based on mathematical problems that are believed to be intractable for both classical and quantum computers. These algorithms will not necessarily be drop-in replacements for the current PKC algorithms in protocols or systems, so system owners should begin planning for the migration to PQC.”

NCSC’s Key Steps for PQC

The white paper points to a pragmatic and methodical approach to a future that the centre considers imminent. In response to this situation, the NCSC has outlined several key steps for the transition to PQC that should be implemented into the planning and budgeting of businesses and organizations that will be affected by potential quantum hacks — which, in today’s data-driven economy, is likely all businesses and organizations.

The NCSC urges organizations to align PQC upgrades with regular technology refresh cycles, thereby integrating quantum-resistant measures into the natural evolution of their IT systems.

The paper states: “Technical system and risk owners of both enterprise and bespoke IT should begin or continue financial planning for updating their systems to use PQC. PQC upgrades can be planned to take part within usual technology refresh cycles once final standards and implementations of these standards are available.”

Moreover, the centre endorses specific algorithms for general use, namely the ML-KEM (Kyber) and ML-DSA (Dilithium), chosen by the United States’ National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for standardization. These algorithms are considered suitable for securing personal, enterprise, and government information at the Official tier.

The NCSC also provides guidance on security levels, recommending ML-KEM-768 and ML-DSA-65 for their balance of security and efficiency. Emphasizing the importance of adherence to finalized standards, the NCSC advises against the use of provisional or non-standard implementations in operational systems.

One notable point in the NCSC’s guidance is the concept of a hybrid key establishment scheme. This interim measure involves combining a PQC key establishment algorithm with a traditional one. Although this may serve as a bridge towards full PQC adoption, it is clear that the ultimate goal is a complete migration to quantum-resistant algorithms.

Preparation, Not Panic

Ever-emerging cybersecurity threats are already a constant concern for organizations. Quantum is yet another threat on that cybersecurity radar, one that may seem on the far-reaches of that scope now, but is methodically moving toward the center.

As organizations around the globe now face the task of securing their data against quantum attacks, the NCSC’s white paper can serve as a blueprint. It does not exaggerate the threat, but neither does it understate the urgency of preparing for the quantum future. The message is one of preparedness, not panic.

An Improved Approximation Algorithm for Quantum Max-Cut on Triangle-Free Graphs

9 November 2023 at 11:44

Quantum 7, 1180 (2023).

We give an approximation algorithm for Quantum Max-Cut which works by rounding an SDP relaxation to an entangled quantum state. The SDP is used to choose the parameters of a variational quantum circuit. The entangled state is then represented as the quantum circuit applied to a product state. It achieves an approximation ratio of 0.582 on triangle-free graphs. The previous best algorithms of Anshu, Gosset, Morenz, and Parekh, Thompson achieved approximation ratios of 0.531 and 0.533 respectively. In addition, we study the EPR Hamiltonian, which we argue is a natural intermediate problem which isolates some key quantum features of local Hamiltonian problems. For the EPR Hamiltonian, we give an approximation algorithm with approximation ratio $1 / \sqrt{2}$ on all graphs.

A relativistic discrete spacetime formulation of 3+1 QED

Quantum 7, 1179 (2023).

This work provides a relativistic, digital quantum simulation scheme for both $2+1$ and $3+1$ dimensional quantum electrodynamics (QED), based on a discrete spacetime formulation of theory. It takes the form of a quantum circuit, infinitely repeating across space and time, parametrised by the discretization step $\Delta_t=\Delta_x$. Strict causality at each step is ensured as circuit wires coincide with the lightlike worldlines of QED; simulation time under decoherence is optimized. The construction replays the logic that leads to the QED Lagrangian. Namely, it starts from the Dirac quantum walk, well-known to converge towards free relativistic fermions. It then extends the quantum walk into a multi-particle sector quantum cellular automata in a way which respects the fermionic anti-commutation relations and the discrete gauge invariance symmetry. Both requirements can only be achieved at cost of introducing the gauge field. Lastly the gauge field is given its own electromagnetic dynamics, which can be formulated as a quantum walk at each plaquette.

Tamper Detection against Unitary Operators

Quantum 7, 1178 (2023).

Security of a storage device against a tampering adversary has been a well-studied topic in classical cryptography. Such models give black-box access to an adversary, and the aim is to protect the stored message or abort the protocol if there is any tampering. In this work, we extend the scope of the theory of tamper detection codes against an adversary with quantum capabilities. We consider encoding and decoding schemes that are used to encode a $k$-qubit quantum message $\vert m\rangle$ to obtain an $n$-qubit quantum codeword $\vert {\psi_m} \rangle$. A quantum codeword $\vert {\psi_m} \rangle$ can be adversarially tampered via a unitary $U$ from some known tampering unitary family $\mathcal{U}_{\mathsf{Adv}}$ (acting on $\mathbb{C}^{2^n}$). Firstly, we initiate the general study of $\textit{quantum tamper detection codes}$, which detect if there is any tampering caused by the action of a unitary operator. In case there was no tampering, we would like to output the original message. We show that quantum tamper detection codes exist for any family of unitary operators $\mathcal{U}_{\mathsf{Adv}}$, such that $\vert\mathcal{U}_{\mathsf{Adv}} \vert \lt 2^{2^{\alpha n}}$ for some constant $\alpha \in (0,1/6)$; provided that unitary operators are not too close to the identity operator. Quantum tamper detection codes that we construct can be considered to be quantum variants of $\textit{classical tamper detection codes}$ studied by Jafargholi and Wichs ['15], which are also known to exist under similar restrictions. Additionally, we show that when the message set $\mathcal{M}$ is classical, such a construction can be realized as a $\textit{non-malleable code}$ against any $\mathcal{U}_{\mathsf{Adv}}$ of size up to $2^{2^{\alpha n}}$.

Enhanced Gravitational Entanglement via Modulated Optomechanics

Quantum 7, 1177 (2023).

The role of entanglement in determining the non-classicality of a given interaction has gained significant traction over the last few years. In particular, as the basis for new experimental proposals to test the quantum nature of the gravitational field. Here we show that the rate of gravity mediated entanglement between two otherwise isolated optomechanical systems can be significantly increased by modulating the optomechanical coupling. This is most pronounced for low mass, high frequency systems – convenient for reaching the quantum regime – and can lead to improvements of several orders of magnitude, as well as a broadening of the measurement window. Nevertheless, significant obstacles still remain. In particular, we find that modulations increase decoherence effects at the same rate as the entanglement improvements. This adds to the growing evidence that the constraint on noise (acting on the position d.o.f) depends only on the particle mass, separation, and temperature of the environment and cannot be improved by novel quantum control. Finally, we highlight the close connection between the observation of quantum correlations and the limits of measurement precision derived via the Cramér-Rao Bound. An immediate consequence is that probing superpositions of the gravitational field places similar demands on detector sensitivity as entanglement verification.

Quantum Circuit Compiler for a Shuttling-Based Trapped-Ion Quantum Computer

Quantum 7, 1176 (2023).

The increasing capabilities of quantum computing hardware and the challenge of realizing deep quantum circuits require fully automated and efficient tools for compiling quantum circuits. To express arbitrary circuits in a sequence of native gates specific to the quantum computer architecture, it is necessary to make algorithms portable across the landscape of quantum hardware providers. In this work, we present a compiler capable of transforming and optimizing a quantum circuit targeting a shuttling-based trapped-ion quantum processor. It consists of custom algorithms set on top of the quantum circuit framework Pytket. The performance was evaluated for a wide range of quantum circuits and the results show that the gate counts can be reduced by factors up to 5.1 compared to standard Pytket and up to 2.2 compared to standard Qiskit compilation.

Automated Generation of Shuttling Sequences for a Linear Segmented Ion Trap Quantum Computer

Quantum 7, 1175 (2023).

A promising approach for scaling-up trapped-ion quantum computer platforms is by storing multiple trapped-ion qubit sets ('ion crystals') in segmented microchip traps and to interconnect these via physical movement of the ions ('shuttling'). Already for realizing quantum circuits with moderate complexity, the design of suitable qubit assignments and shuttling schedules require automation. Here, we describe and test algorithms which address exactly these tasks. We describe an algorithm for fully automated generation of shuttling schedules, complying to constraints imposed by a given trap structure. Furthermore, we introduce different methods for initial qubit assignment and compare these for random circuit (of up to 20 qubits) and quantum Fourier transform-like circuits, and generalized Toffoli gates of up to 40 qubits each. We find that for quantum circuits which contain a fixed structure, advanced assignment algorithms can serve to reduce the shuttling overhead.

Quantum Alphatron: quantum advantage for learning with kernels and noise

Quantum 7, 1174 (2023).

At the interface of machine learning and quantum computing, an important question is what distributions can be learned provably with optimal sample complexities and with quantum-accelerated time complexities. In the classical case, Klivans and Goel discussed the $Alphatron$, an algorithm to learn distributions related to kernelized regression, which they also applied to the learning of two-layer neural networks. In this work, we provide quantum versions of the Alphatron in the fault-tolerant setting. In a well-defined learning model, this quantum algorithm is able to provide a polynomial speedup for a large range of parameters of the underlying concept class. We discuss two types of speedups, one for evaluating the kernel matrix and one for evaluating the gradient in the stochastic gradient descent procedure. We also discuss the quantum advantage in the context of learning of two-layer neural networks. Our work contributes to the study of quantum learning with kernels and from samples.