Resource Optimal Executable Quantum Circuit Generation Using Approximate Computing

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Quantum computing is an emerging technology that combines the principles of both computer science and quantum mechanics to solve computationally challenging problems significantly faster than the current classical computers. In this thesis, a proof of concept to generate hardware-executable quantum circuits for Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) devices that follow the paradigm of approximate computing is presented.

We adopt a multi-level optimization approach and consider the placement of native quantum gates that can be physically implemented on one of the existing quantum systems (IBM, Rigetti) as a circuit topology optimization problem and the adjustment of parameters of these native quantum gates as a continuous design optimization problem. The outer topology problem is solved with the aid of a genetic algorithm, whereas the gradient-descent method is used for the inner design optimization.

Our approach starts from the reference circuit and transforms it into an executable circuit with tunable parameters by replacing the high-level quantum operations with a set of approximate decompositions, e.g., single qubit rotation quantum gates or a combination of single qubit rotation gates (matrix multiplication). Later, the inner design optimization ensures that the circuit created is tuned to be executed to achieve an expectation value close to that of the reference circuit. This is complemented by compiler-based optimizations to further reduce or aggregate the quantum gates of the optimized circuit. This three-step pipeline is embedded into an outer genetic algorithm framework that inspects many different circuit designs (the approximate-decomposition replacements are by no means unique) and returns a set of unique approximate quantum circuits that can be executed on hardware.

We have tested our circuit generation approach for superconducting quantum systems such as IBM and Rigetti hardware for many different benchmark circuits such as Quantum Fourier Transform, Toffoli, quantum adder, multi-controlled operations and three oracle-based algorithms, namely, Grover's search algorithm, Deutsch and Bernstein-Vazirani algorithm. In nearly all cases, our approach outperforms the quantum compiler frameworks by IBM and Rigetti even on their highest optimization level and produces significantly smaller circuits, up to 2x reduction in the number of gates. In addition, the circuits generated using the proposed approach provide better (a) performance (on average, improved by 24.25%) and (b) reliability (on average, improved by 23.50%) compared to the IBM generated circuits when executed on the ibmq_5_yorktown physical quantum device.