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  1. Abstract Recently, several quantum benchmarking algorithms have been developed to characterize noisy quantum gates on today’s quantum devices. A fundamental issue in benchmarking is that not everything about quantum noise is learnable due to the existence of gauge freedom, leaving open the question what information is learnable and what is not, which is unclear even for a single CNOT gate. Here we give a precise characterization of the learnability of Pauli noise channels attached to Clifford gates using graph theoretical tools. Our results reveal the optimality of cycle benchmarking in the sense that it can extract all learnable information about Pauli noise. We experimentally demonstrate noise characterization of IBM’s CNOT gate up to 2 unlearnable degrees of freedom, for which we obtain bounds using physical constraints. In addition, we show that an attempt to extract unlearnable information by ignoring state preparation noise yields unphysical estimates, which is used to lower bound the state preparation noise. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Cross-entropy (XE) measure is a widely used benchmark to demonstrate quantum computational advantage from sampling problems, such as random circuit sampling using superconducting qubits and boson sampling (BS). We present a heuristic classical algorithm that attains a better XE than the current BS experiments in a verifiable regime and is likely to attain a better XE score than the near-future BS experiments in a reasonable running time. The key idea behind the algorithm is that there exist distributions that correlate with the ideal BS probability distribution and that can be efficiently computed. The correlation and the computability of the distribution enable us to postselect heavy outcomes of the ideal probability distribution without computing the ideal probability, which essentially leads to a large XE. Our method scores a better XE than the recent Gaussian BS experiments when implemented at intermediate, verifiable system sizes. Much like current state-of-the-art experiments, we cannot verify that our spoofer works for quantum-advantage-size systems. However, we demonstrate that our approach works for much larger system sizes in fermion sampling, where we can efficiently compute output probabilities. Finally, we provide analytic evidence that the classical algorithm is likely to spoof noisy BS efficiently. 
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  3. Entanglement is one of the physical properties of quantum systems responsible for the computational hardness of simulating quantum systems. But while the runtime of specific algorithms, notably tensor network algorithms, explicitly depends on the amount of entanglement in the system, it is unknown whether this connection runs deeper and entanglement can also cause inherent, algorithm-independent complexity. In this Letter, we quantitatively connect the entanglement present in certain quantum systems to the computational complexity of simulating those systems. Moreover, we completely characterize the entanglement and complexity as a function of a system parameter. Specifically, we consider the task of simulating single-qubit measurements of k-regular graph states on n qubits. We show that, as the regularity parameter is increased from 1 to n−1, there is a sharp transition from an easy regime with low entanglement to a hard regime with high entanglement at k = 3, and a transition back to easy and low entanglement at k = n−3. As a key technical result, we prove a duality for the simulation complexity of regular graph states between low and high regularity. 
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  4. We study the properties of output distributions of noisy random circuits. We obtain upper and lower bounds on the expected distance of the output distribution from the “useless” uniform distribution. These bounds are tight with respect to the dependence on circuit depth. Our proof techniques also allow us to make statements about the presence or absence of anticoncentration for both noisy and noiseless circuits. We uncover a number of interesting consequences for hardness proofs of sampling schemes that aim to show a quantum computational advantage over classical computation. Specifically, we discuss recent barrier results for depth-agnostic and/or noise-agnostic proof techniques. We show that in certain depth regimes, noise-agnostic proof techniques might still work in order to prove an often-conjectured claim in the literature on quantum computational advantage, contrary to what has been thought prior to this work. 
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