Optimal Provable Robustness of Quantum Classification via Quantum Hypothesis Testing

09/21/2020
by   Maurice Weber, et al.
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Quantum machine learning models have the potential to offer speedups and better predictive accuracy compared to their classical counterparts. However, these quantum algorithms, like their classical counterparts, have been shown to also be vulnerable to input perturbations, in particular for classification problems. These can arise either from noisy implementations or, as a worst-case type of noise, adversarial attacks. These attacks can undermine both the reliability and security of quantum classification algorithms. In order to develop defence mechanisms and to better understand the reliability of these algorithms, it is crucial to understand their robustness properties in presence of both natural noise sources and adversarial manipulation. From the observation that, unlike in the classical setting, measurements involved in quantum classification algorithms are naturally probabilistic, we uncover and formalize a fundamental link between binary quantum hypothesis testing (QHT) and provably robust quantum classification. Then from the optimality of QHT, we prove a robustness condition, which is tight under modest assumptions, and enables us to develop a protocol to certify robustness. Since this robustness condition is a guarantee against the worst-case noise scenarios, our result naturally extends to scenarios in which the noise source is known. Thus we also provide a framework to study the reliability of quantum classification protocols under more general settings.

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