Error mitigation on a near-term quantum photonic device

Daiqin Su1, Robert Israel1, Kunal Sharma2, Haoyu Qi1, Ish Dhand1, and Kamil Brádler1

1Xanadu, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2C8, Canada
2Hearne Institute for Theoretical Physics and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA USA

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Abstract

Photon loss is destructive to the performance of quantum photonic devices and therefore suppressing the effects of photon loss is paramount to photonic quantum technologies. We present two schemes to mitigate the effects of photon loss for a Gaussian Boson Sampling device, in particular, to improve the estimation of the sampling probabilities. Instead of using error correction codes which are expensive in terms of their hardware resource overhead, our schemes require only a small amount of hardware modifications or even no modification. Our loss-suppression techniques rely either on collecting additional measurement data or on classical post-processing once the measurement data is obtained. We show that with a moderate cost of classical post processing, the effects of photon loss can be significantly suppressed for a certain amount of loss. The proposed schemes are thus a key enabler for applications of near-term photonic quantum devices.

The Gaussian boson sampling (GBS) device is one of the most promising quantum photonic devices. It has recently been used to demonstrate the quantum computational advantage over classical computers in a specific sampling problem. The GBS device may also find practical applications, e.g., in solving molecular docking problems, in the near future. However, the performance of the GBS device is dramatically degraded by photon loss. In principle, the photon loss can be corrected using quantum error-correcting codes, but these codes introduce a large resource overhead. This work proposes two schemes to mitigate the effect of photon loss for the near-term GBS device, with a small hardware modification or even no modification. The price to pay is to perform multiple experiments and classical post-processing. This work finds that the effect of photon loss can be significantly suppressed with a moderate amount of classical resources. Therefore, the proposed loss mitigation schemes are essential for near-term applications of quantum photonic technologies.

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