Statistical Aspects of the Quantum Supremacy Demonstration

08/12/2020
by   Yosef Rinott, et al.
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The notable claim of quantum supremacy presented by Google's team in 2019 consists of demonstrating the ability of a quantum circuit to generate, albeit with considerable noise, bitstrings from a distribution that is considered hard to simulate on classical computers. Verifying that the generated data is indeed from the claimed distribution and assessing the circuit's noise level and its fidelity is a purely statistical undertaking. The objective of this paper is to explain the relations between quantum computing and some of the statistical aspects involved in demonstrating quantum supremacy in terms that are accessible to statisticians, computer scientists, and mathematicians. Starting with the statistical analysis in Google's demonstration, which we explain, we study various estimators of the fidelity, and different approaches to testing the distributions generated by the quantum computer. We propose different noise models, and discuss their implications. A preliminary study of the Google data, focusing mostly on circuits of 12 and 14 qubits is discussed throughout the paper.

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