Scaling of the quantum approximate optimization algorithm on superconducting qubit based hardware

Johannes Weidenfeller1,2, Lucia C. Valor1, Julien Gacon1,3, Caroline Tornow1,2, Luciano Bello1, Stefan Woerner1, and Daniel J. Egger1

1IBM Quantum, IBM Research Europe – Zurich
2ETH Zurich
3Institute of Physics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

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Quantum computers may provide good solutions to combinatorial optimization problems by leveraging the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA). The QAOA is often presented as an algorithm for noisy hardware. However, hardware constraints limit its applicability to problem instances that closely match the connectivity of the qubits. Furthermore, the QAOA must outpace classical solvers. Here, we investigate swap strategies to map dense problems into linear, grid and heavy-hex coupling maps. A line-based swap strategy works best for linear and two-dimensional grid coupling maps. Heavy-hex coupling maps require an adaptation of the line swap strategy. By contrast, three-dimensional grid coupling maps benefit from a different swap strategy. Using known entropic arguments we find that the required gate fidelity for dense problems lies deep below the fault-tolerant threshold. We also provide a methodology to reason about the execution-time of QAOA. Finally, we present a QAOA Qiskit Runtime program and execute the closed-loop optimization on cloud-based quantum computers with transpiler settings optimized for QAOA. This work highlights some obstacles to improve to make QAOA competitive, such as gate fidelity, gate speed, and the large number of shots needed. The Qiskit Runtime program gives us a tool to investigate such issues at scale on noisy superconducting qubit hardware.

Quantum computers have the potential to solve hard combinatorial optimization problems using quantum algorithms like the quantum approximate optimization algorithm (QAOA). Here, we investigate the hardware requirements to run QAOA on noisy quantum hardware. To reduce circuit depth, we introduce novel quantum gate routing strategies to map dense optimization problems to hardware with limited connectivity. We analyze the resulting requirements on the gate fidelity and present a framework to estimate the run-time of the QAOA. Finally, we demonstrate a Qiskit Runtime environment to execute quantum optimization on superconducting hardware with problem instances with 7 and 27 decision variables.

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[1] Zheng-Hang Sun, Yong-Yi Wang, Jian Cui, and Heng Fan, "Improving the performance of quantum approximate optimization for preparing non-trivial quantum states without translational symmetry", New Journal of Physics 25 1, 013015 (2023).

[2] Cenk Tüysüz, Giuseppe Clemente, Arianna Crippa, Tobias Hartung, Stefan Kühn, and Karl Jansen, "Classical splitting of parametrized quantum circuits", Quantum Machine Intelligence 5 2, 34 (2023).

[3] Phillip C. Lotshaw, Kevin D. Battles, Bryan Gard, Gilles Buchs, Travis S. Humble, and Creston D. Herold, "Modeling noise in global Mølmer-Sørensen interactions applied to quantum approximate optimization", Physical Review A 107 6, 062406 (2023).

[4] Almudena Carrera Vazquez, Daniel J. Egger, David Ochsner, and Stefan Woerner, "Well-conditioned multi-product formulas for hardware-friendly Hamiltonian simulation", Quantum 7, 1067 (2023).

[5] Elijah Pelofske, Andreas Bärtschi, and Stephan Eidenbenz, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 13948, 240 (2023) ISBN:978-3-031-32040-8.

[6] Pranav Chandarana, Pablo Suárez Vieites, Narendra N Hegade, Enrique Solano, Yue Ban, and Xi Chen, "Meta-learning digitized-counterdiabatic quantum optimization", Quantum Science and Technology 8 4, 045007 (2023).

[7] Stefan H. Sack, Raimel A. Medina, Richard Kueng, and Maksym Serbyn, "Recursive greedy initialization of the quantum approximate optimization algorithm with guaranteed improvement", Physical Review A 107 6, 062404 (2023).

[8] Chen Liyan, Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering 1037, 441 (2023) ISBN:978-981-99-1982-6.

[9] Gabriel Matos, Chris N. Self, Zlatko Papić, Konstantinos Meichanetzidis, and Henrik Dreyer, "Characterization of variational quantum algorithms using free fermions", Quantum 7, 966 (2023).

[10] Pranav Chandarana, Narendra N. Hegade, Iraitz Montalban, Enrique Solano, and Xi Chen, "Digitized Counterdiabatic Quantum Algorithm for Protein Folding", Physical Review Applied 20 1, 014024 (2023).

[11] Maxime Dupont, Nicolas Didier, Mark J. Hodson, Joel E. Moore, and Matthew J. Reagor, "Entanglement perspective on the quantum approximate optimization algorithm", Physical Review A 106 2, 022423 (2022).

[12] Filip B. Maciejewski, Stuart Hadfield, Benjamin Hall, Mark Hodson, Maxime Dupont, Bram Evert, James Sud, M. Sohaib Alam, Zhihui Wang, Stephen Jeffrey, Bhuvanesh Sundar, P. Aaron Lott, Shon Grabbe, Eleanor G. Rieffel, Matthew J. Reagor, and Davide Venturelli, "Design and execution of quantum circuits using tens of superconducting qubits and thousands of gates for dense Ising optimization problems", arXiv:2308.12423, (2023).

[13] Laurin E. Fischer, Daniel Miller, Francesco Tacchino, Panagiotis Kl. Barkoutsos, Daniel J. Egger, and Ivano Tavernelli, "Ancilla-free implementation of generalized measurements for qubits embedded in a qudit space", Physical Review Research 4 3, 033027 (2022).

[14] Stefan H. Sack and Daniel J. Egger, "Large-scale quantum approximate optimization on nonplanar graphs with machine learning noise mitigation", Physical Review Research 6 1, 013223 (2024).

[15] Benjamin C. B. Symons, David Galvin, Emre Sahin, Vassil Alexandrov, and Stefano Mensa, "A practitioner's guide to quantum algorithms for optimisation problems", Journal of Physics A Mathematical General 56 45, 453001 (2023).

[16] Daniel J. Egger, Chiara Capecci, Bibek Pokharel, Panagiotis Kl. Barkoutsos, Laurin E. Fischer, Leonardo Guidoni, and Ivano Tavernelli, "Pulse variational quantum eigensolver on cross-resonance-based hardware", Physical Review Research 5 3, 033159 (2023).

[17] Nishant Jain, Brian Coyle, Elham Kashefi, and Niraj Kumar, "Graph neural network initialisation of quantum approximate optimisation", Quantum 6, 861 (2022).

[18] Maxime Dupont, Nicolas Didier, Mark J. Hodson, Joel E. Moore, and Matthew J. Reagor, "Calibrating the Classical Hardness of the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm", PRX Quantum 3 4, 040339 (2022).

[19] Reuben Tate, Jai Moondra, Bryan Gard, Greg Mohler, and Swati Gupta, "Warm-Started QAOA with Custom Mixers Provably Converges and Computationally Beats Goemans-Williamson's Max-Cut at Low Circuit Depths", Quantum 7, 1121 (2023).

[20] Giuseppe Scriva, Nikita Astrakhantsev, Sebastiano Pilati, and Guglielmo Mazzola, "Challenges of variational quantum optimization with measurement shot noise", Physical Review A 109 3, 032408 (2024).

[21] Cenk Tüysüz, Giuseppe Clemente, Arianna Crippa, Tobias Hartung, Stefan Kühn, and Karl Jansen, "Classical Splitting of Parametrized Quantum Circuits", arXiv:2206.09641, (2022).

[22] Zheng-Hang Sun, Yong-Yi Wang, Yu-Ran Zhang, Franco Nori, and Heng Fan, "Variational generation of spin squeezing on one-dimensional quantum devices with nearest-neighbor interactions", Physical Review Research 5 4, 043285 (2023).

[23] Gopal Chandra Santra, Fred Jendrzejewski, Philipp Hauke, and Daniel J. Egger, "Squeezing and quantum approximate optimization", Physical Review A 109 1, 012413 (2024).

[24] Friedrich Wagner, Daniel J. Egger, and Frauke Liers, "Optimized Noise Suppression for Quantum Circuits", arXiv:2401.06423, (2024).

[25] Daniil Rabinovich, Ernesto Campos, Soumik Adhikary, Ekaterina Pankovets, Dmitry Vinichenko, and Jacob Biamonte, "On the gate-error robustness of variational quantum algorithms", arXiv:2301.00048, (2022).

[26] Conrad J. Haupt and Daniel J. Egger, "Leakage in restless quantum gate calibration", Physical Review A 108 2, 022614 (2023).

[27] Elijah Pelofske, Andreas Bärtschi, John Golden, and Stephan Eidenbenz, "High-Round QAOA for MAX $k$-SAT on Trapped Ion NISQ Devices", arXiv:2306.03238, (2023).

[28] Atsushi Matsuo, Shigeru Yamashita, and Daniel J. Egger, "A SAT Approach to the Initial Mapping Problem in SWAP Gate Insertion for Commuting Gates", IEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics Communications and Computer Sciences 106 11, 1424 (2023).

[29] Phillip C. Lotshaw, Hanjing Xu, Bilal Khalid, Gilles Buchs, Travis S. Humble, and Arnab Banerjee, "Simulations of frustrated Ising Hamiltonians using quantum approximate optimization", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series A 381 2241, 20210414 (2023).

[30] Elijah Pelofske, Andreas Bärtschi, Lukasz Cincio, John Golden, and Stephan Eidenbenz, "Scaling Whole-Chip QAOA for Higher-Order Ising Spin Glass Models on Heavy-Hex Graphs", arXiv:2312.00997, (2023).

[31] Maxime Dupont, Bram Evert, Mark J. Hodson, Bhuvanesh Sundar, Stephen Jeffrey, Yuki Yamaguchi, Dennis Feng, Filip B. Maciejewski, Stuart Hadfield, M. Sohaib Alam, Zhihui Wang, Shon Grabbe, P. Aaron Lott, Eleanor G. Rieffel, Davide Venturelli, and Matthew J. Reagor, "Quantum-enhanced greedy combinatorial optimization solver", Science Advances 9 45, eadi0487 (2023).

[32] Yuwei Jin, Jason Luo, Lucent Fong, Yanhao Chen, Ari B. Hayes, Chi Zhang, Fei Hua, and Eddy Z. Zhang, "A Structured Method for Compilation of QAOA Circuits in Quantum Computing", arXiv:2112.06143, (2021).

[33] Christos Aravanis, Georgios Korpas, and Jakub Marecek, "Transpiling Quantum Circuits using the Pentagon Equation", arXiv:2209.14356, (2022).

[34] André Melo, Nathan Earnest-Noble, and Francesco Tacchino, "Pulse-efficient quantum machine learning", Quantum 7, 1130 (2023).

[35] Samantha V. Barron, Daniel J. Egger, Elijah Pelofske, Andreas Bärtschi, Stephan Eidenbenz, Matthis Lehmkuehler, and Stefan Woerner, "Provable bounds for noise-free expectation values computed from noisy samples", arXiv:2312.00733, (2023).

[36] Elijah Pelofske, Andreas Bärtschi, and Stephan Eidenbenz, "Short-depth QAOA circuits and quantum annealing on higher-order ising models", npj Quantum Information 10, 30 (2024).

The above citations are from Crossref's cited-by service (last updated successfully 2023-08-11 20:28:03) and SAO/NASA ADS (last updated successfully 2024-04-15 12:39:09). The list may be incomplete as not all publishers provide suitable and complete citation data.

Could not fetch Crossref cited-by data during last attempt 2024-04-15 12:39:06: Encountered the unhandled forward link type postedcontent_cite while looking for citations to DOI 10.22331/q-2022-12-07-870.