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  1. Recent work has proposed and explored using coreset techniques for quantum algorithms that operate on classical data sets to accelerate the applicability of these algorithms on near-term quantum devices. We apply these ideas to Quantum Boltzmann Machines (QBM) where gradient-based steps which require Gibbs state sampling are the main computational bottle-neck during training. By using a coreset in place of the full data set, we try to minimize the number of steps needed and accelerate the overall training time. In a regime where computational time on quantum computers is a precious resource, we propose this might lead to substantial practical savings. We evaluate this approach on 6x6 binary images from an augmented bars and stripes data set using a QBM with 36 visible units and 8 hidden units. Using an Inception score inspired metric, we compare QBM training times with and without using coresets. 
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  2. Classical computing plays a critical role in the advancement of quantum frontiers in the NISQ era. In this spirit, this work uses classical simulation to bootstrap Variational Quantum Algorithms (VQAs). VQAs rely upon the iterative optimization of a parameterized unitary circuit (ansatz) with respect to an objective function. Since quantum machines are noisy and expensive resources, it is imperative to classically choose the VQA ansatz initial parameters to be as close to optimal as possible to improve VQA accuracy and accelerate their convergence on today’s devices. This work tackles the problem of finding a good ansatz initialization, by proposing CAFQA, a Clifford Ansatz For Quantum Accuracy. The CAFQA ansatz is a hardware-efficient circuit built with only Clifford gates. In this ansatz, the parameters for the tunable gates are chosen by searching efficiently through the Clifford parameter space via classical simulation. The resulting initial states always equal or outperform traditional classical initialization (e.g., Hartree-Fock), and enable high-accuracy VQA estimations. CAFQA is well-suited to classical computation because: a) Clifford-only quantum circuits can be exactly simulated classically in polynomial time, and b) the discrete Clifford space is searched efficiently via Bayesian Optimization. For the Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE) task of molecular ground state energy estimation (up to 18 qubits), CAFQA’s Clifford Ansatz achieves a mean accuracy of nearly 99% and recovers as much as 99.99% of the molecular correlation energy that is lost in Hartree-Fock initialization. CAFQA achieves mean accuracy improvements of 6.4x and 56.8x, over the state-of-the-art, on different metrics. The scalability of the approach allows for preliminary ground state energy estimation of the challenging chromium dimer (Cr2) molecule. With CAFQA’s high-accuracy initialization, the convergence of VQAs is shown to accelerate by 2.5x, even for small molecules. Furthermore, preliminary exploration of allowing a limited number of non-Clifford (T) gates in the CAFQA framework, shows that as much as 99.9% of the correlation energy can be recovered at bond lengths for which Clifford-only CAFQA accuracy is relatively limited, while remaining classically simulable. 
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  3. Variational Quantum Algorithms (VQA) are one of the most promising candidates for near-term quantum advantage. Traditionally, these algorithms are parameterized by rotational gate angles whose values are tuned over iterative execution on quantum machines. The iterative tuning of these gate angle parameters make VQAs more robust to a quantum machine’s noise profile. However, the effect of noise is still a significant detriment to VQA’s target estimations on real quantum machines — they are far from ideal. Thus, it is imperative to employ effective error mitigation strategies to improve the fidelity of these quantum algorithms on near-term machines.While existing error mitigation techniques built from theory do provide substantial gains, the disconnect between theory and real machine execution characteristics limit the scope of these improvements. Thus, it is critical to optimize mitigation techniques to explicitly suit the target application as well as the noise characteristics of the target machine.We propose VAQEM, which dynamically tailors existing error mitigation techniques to the actual, dynamic noisy execution characteristics of VQAs on a target quantum machine. We do so by tuning specific features of these mitigation techniques similar to the traditional rotation angle parameters -by targeting improvements towards a specific objective function which represents the VQA problem at hand. In this paper, we target two types of error mitigation techniques which are suited to idle times in quantum circuits: single qubit gate scheduling and the insertion of dynamical decoupling sequences. We gain substantial improvements to VQA objective measurements — a mean of over 3x across a variety of VQA applications, run on IBM Quantum machines.More importantly, while we study two specific error mitigation techniques, the proposed variational approach is general and can be extended to many other error mitigation techniques whose specific configurations are hard to select a priori. Integrating more mitigation techniques into the VAQEM framework in the future can lead to further formidable gains, potentially realizing practically useful VQA benefits on today’s noisy quantum machines. 
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  4. As the popularity of quantum computing continues to grow, quantum machine access over the cloud is critical to both academic and industry researchers across the globe. And as cloud quantum computing demands increase exponentially, the analysis of resource consumption and execution characteristics are key to efficient management of jobs and resources at both the vendor-end as well as the client-end. While the analysis of resource consumption and management are popular in the classical HPC domain, it is severely lacking for more nascent technology like quantum computing. This paper is a first-of-its-kind academic study, analyzing various trends in job execution and resources consumption / utilization on quantum cloud systems. We focus on IBM Quantum systems and analyze characteristics over a two year period, encompassing over 6000 jobs which contain over 600,000 quantum circuit executions and correspond to almost 10 billion “shots” or trials over 20+ quantum machines. Specifically, we analyze trends focused on, but not limited to, execution times on quantum machines, queuing/waiting times in the cloud, circuit compilation times, machine utilization, as well as the impact of job and machine characteristics on all of these trends. Our analysis identifies several similarities and differences with classical HPC cloud systems. Based on our insights, we make recommendations and contributions to improve the management of resources and jobs on future quantum cloud systems. 
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  5. Simulating the time evolution of a physical system at quantum mechanical levels of detail - known as Hamiltonian Simulation (HS) - is an important and interesting problem across physics and chemistry. For this task, algorithms that run on quantum computers are known to be exponentially faster than classical algorithms; in fact, this application motivated Feynman to propose the construction of quantum computers. Nonetheless, there are challenges in reaching this performance potential. Prior work has focused on compiling circuits (quantum programs) for HS with the goal of maximizing either accuracy or gate cancellation. Our work proposes a compilation strategy that simultaneously advances both goals. At a high level, we use classical optimizations such as graph coloring and travelling salesperson to order the execution of quantum programs. Specifically, we group together mutually commuting terms in the Hamiltonian (a matrix characterizing the quantum mechanical system) to improve the accuracy of the simulation. We then rearrange the terms within each group to maximize gate cancellation in the final quantum circuit. These optimizations work together to improve HS performance and result in an average 40% reduction in circuit depth. This work advances the frontier of HS which in turn can advance physical and chemical modeling in both basic and applied sciences. 
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  6. Quantum information processing holds great potential for pushing beyond the current frontiers in computing. Specifically, quantum computation promises to accelerate the solving of certain problems, and there are many opportunities for innovation based on proposed applications in chemistry, engineering, finance, and more. To harness the full power of quantum computing, however, we must not only place emphasis on manufacturing better qubits, advancing our algorithms, and developing quantum software. We must also refine device-level quantum control to scale to the fault tolerant quantum regime. On May 17–18, 2021, the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE) partnered with IBM Quantum and Super.tech to host the Pulse-level Quantum Control Workshop. At the workshop, representatives from academia, national labs, and industry addressed the importance of fine-tuning quantum processing at the physical layer. This work summarizes the key topics of the Pulse-level Quantum Control Workshop for the quantum community at large. 
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  7. Instruction scheduling is a key compiler optimization in quantum computing, just as it is for classical computing. Current schedulers optimize for data parallelism by allowing simultaneous execution of instructions, as long as their qubits do not overlap. However, on many quantum hardware platforms, instructions on overlapping qubits can be executed simultaneously through global interactions. For example, while fan-out in traditional quantum circuits can only be implemented sequentially when viewed at the logical level, global interactions at the physical level allow fan-out to be achieved in one step. We leverage this simultaneous fan-out primitive to optimize circuit synthesis for NISQ (Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum) workloads. In addition, we introduce novel quantum memory architectures based on fan-out.Our work also addresses hardware implementation of the fan-out primitive. We perform realistic simulations for trapped ion quantum computers. We also demonstrate experimental proof-of-concept of fan-out with superconducting qubits. We perform depth (runtime) and fidelity estimation for NISQ application circuits and quantum memory architectures under realistic noise models. Our simulations indicate promising results with an asymptotic advantage in runtime, as well as 7–24% reduction in error. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    Many quantum algorithms for machine learning require access to classical data in superposition. However, for many natural data sets and algorithms, the overhead required to load the data set in superposition can erase any potential quantum speedup over classical algorithms. Recent work by Harrow introduces a new paradigm in hybrid quantum-classical computing to address this issue, relying on coresets to minimize the data loading overhead of quantum algorithms. We investigated using this paradigm to perform k-means clustering on near-term quantum computers, by casting it as a QAOA optimization instance over a small coreset. We used numerical simulations to compare the performance of this approach to classical k-means clustering. We were able to find data sets with which coresets work well relative to random sampling and where QAOA could potentially outperform standard k-means on a coreset. However, finding data sets where both coresets and QAOA work well—which is necessary for a quantum advantage over k-means on the entire data set—appears to be challenging. 
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  9. As the popularity of quantum computing continues to grow, efficient quantum machine access over the cloud is critical to both academic and industry researchers across the globe. And as cloud quantum computing demands increase exponentially, the analysis of resource consumption and execution characteristics are key to efficient management of jobs and resources at both the vendor-end as well as the client-end. While the analysis and optimization of job / resource consumption and management are popular in the classical HPC domain, it is severely lacking for more nascent technology like quantum computing.This paper proposes optimized adaptive job scheduling to the quantum cloud taking note of primary characteristics such as queuing times and fidelity trends across machines, as well as other characteristics such as quality of service guarantees and machine calibration constraints. Key components of the proposal include a) a prediction model which predicts fidelity trends across machine based on compiled circuit features such as circuit depth and different forms of errors, as well as b) queuing time prediction for each machine based on execution time estimations.Overall, this proposal is evaluated on simulated IBM machines across a diverse set of quantum applications and system loading scenarios, and is able to reduce wait times by over 3x and improve fidelity by over 40% on specific usecases, when compared to traditional job schedulers. 
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