Classical algorithms for quantum mean values [article]

Sergey Bravyi, David Gosset, Ramis Movassagh
2019 arXiv   pre-print
We consider the task of estimating the expectation value of an n-qubit tensor product observable O_1⊗ O_2⊗...⊗ O_n in the output state of a shallow quantum circuit. This task is a cornerstone of variational quantum algorithms for optimization, machine learning, and the simulation of quantum many-body systems. Here we study its computational complexity for constant-depth quantum circuits and three types of single-qubit observables O_j which are (a) close to the identity, (b) positive
more » ... , (c) arbitrary. It is shown that the mean value problem admits a classical approximation algorithm with runtime scaling as poly(n) and 2^Õ(√(n)) in cases (a,b) respectively. In case (c) we give a linear-time algorithm for geometrically local circuits on a two-dimensional grid. The mean value is approximated with a small relative error in case (a), while in cases (b,c) we satisfy a less demanding additive error bound. The algorithms are based on (respectively) Barvinok's polynomial interpolation method, a polynomial approximation for the OR function arising from quantum query complexity, and a Monte Carlo method combined with Matrix Product State techniques. We also prove a technical lemma characterizing a zero-free region for certain polynomials associated with a quantum circuit, which may be of independent interest.
arXiv:1909.11485v1 fatcat:u5uxit3xrvepfbnfdc5zel3hme