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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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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
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  6. Understanding the computational power of noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices is of both fundamental and practical importance to quantum information science. Here, we address the question of whether error-uncorrected noisy quantum computers can provide computational advantage over classical computers. Specifically, we study noisy random circuit sampling in one dimension (or 1D noisy RCS) as a simple model for exploring the effects of noise on the computational power of a noisy quantum device. In particular, we simulate the real-time dynamics of 1D noisy random quantum circuits via matrix product operators (MPOs) and characterize the computational power of the 1D noisy quantum system by using a metric we call MPO entanglement entropy. The latter metric is chosen because it determines the cost of classical MPO simulation. We numerically demonstrate that for the two-qubit gate error rates we considered, there exists a characteristic system size above which adding more qubits does not bring about an exponential growth of the cost of classical MPO simulation of 1D noisy systems. Specifically, we show that above the characteristic system size, there is an optimal circuit depth, independent of the system size, where the MPO entanglement entropy is maximized. Most importantly, the maximum achievable MPO entanglement entropy is bounded by a constant that depends only on the gate error rate, not on the system size. We also provide a heuristic analysis to get the scaling of the maximum achievable MPO entanglement entropy as a function of the gate error rate. The obtained scaling suggests that although the cost of MPO simulation does not increase exponentially in the system size above a certain characteristic system size, it does increase exponentially as the gate error rate decreases, possibly making classical simulation practically not feasible even with state-of-the-art supercomputers. 
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