Policies for elementary links in a quantum network

Sumeet Khatri

Hearne Institute for Theoretical Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Center for Computation and Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70803, USA

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Abstract

Distributing entanglement over long distances is one of the central tasks in quantum networks. An important problem, especially for near-term quantum networks, is to develop optimal entanglement distribution protocols that take into account the limitations of current and near-term hardware, such as quantum memories with limited coherence time. We address this problem by initiating the study of quantum network protocols for entanglement distribution using the theory of decision processes, such that optimal protocols (referred to as $policies$ in the context of decision processes) can be found using dynamic programming or reinforcement learning algorithms. As a first step, in this work we focus exclusively on the elementary link level. We start by defining a quantum decision process for elementary links, along with figures of merit for evaluating policies. We then provide two algorithms for determining policies, one of which we prove to be optimal (with respect to fidelity and success probability) among all policies. Then we show that the previously-studied memory-cutoff protocol can be phrased as a policy within our decision process framework, allowing us to obtain several new fundamental results about it. The conceptual developments and results of this work pave the way for the systematic study of the fundamental limitations of near-term quantum networks, and the requirements for physically realizing them.

The quantum internet is one of the frontiers of quantum information science. It has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate and do other tasks, and it will allow for tasks that are not possible using the current, classical internet alone, such as quantum teleportation and quantum key distribution. Realizing the quantum internet is a major task, both from the theoretical perspective and from the practical perspective. Understanding the performance of quantum network protocols, particularly with noisy, imperfect near-term devices, is crucial in order to begin realizing small-scale quantum networks. This work sets out on the task of quantifying the performance of quantum network protocols, in particular determining optimal protocols, using the theory of decision processes. As a first step, in this work we focus on the elementary link level. We establish a theoretical framework based on decision processes that allows us to determine an optimal protocol for an elementary link in the presence of device imperfections. This theoretical framework also allows us to determine several new and fundamental results about a well known and heavily studied protocol, which we refer to here as the "memory-cutoff protocol". The developments of this work pave the way for a complete theory of practical quantum network protocols, which we expect will help drive the physical realization of small-scale quantum networks, and eventually lead to the realization of a global-scale quantum internet.

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Cited by

[1] Laszlo Gyongyosi, "Decoherence dynamics estimation for superconducting gate-model quantum computers", Quantum Information Processing 19 10, 369 (2020).

[2] Koji Azuma, Stefan Bäuml, Tim Coopmans, David Elkouss, and Boxi Li, "Tools for quantum network design", AVS Quantum Science 3 1, 014101 (2021).

[3] Laszlo Gyongyosi, "Objective function estimation for solving optimization problems in gate-model quantum computers", Scientific Reports 10, 14220 (2020).

[4] Laszlo Gyongyosi and Sandor Imre, "Scalable distributed gate-model quantum computers", Scientific Reports 11, 5172 (2021).

[5] Laszlo Gyongyosi and Sandor Imre, "Resource prioritization and balancing for the quantum internet", Scientific Reports 10, 22390 (2020).

The above citations are from Crossref's cited-by service (last updated successfully 2021-12-08 18:43:12) and SAO/NASA ADS (last updated successfully 2021-12-08 18:43:13). The list may be incomplete as not all publishers provide suitable and complete citation data.