Towards Large-scale Functional Verification of Universal Quantum Circuits

Matthew Amy
(University of Waterloo)

We introduce a framework for the formal specification and verification of quantum circuits based on the Feynman path integral. Our formalism, built around exponential sums of polynomial functions, provides a structured and natural way of specifying quantum operations, particularly for quantum implementations of classical functions. Verification of circuits over all levels of the Clifford hierarchy with respect to either a specification or reference circuit is enabled by a novel rewrite system for exponential sums with free variables. Our algorithm is further shown to give a polynomial-time decision procedure for checking the equivalence of Clifford group circuits. We evaluate our methods by performing automated verification of optimized Clifford+T circuits with up to 100 qubits and thousands of T gates, as well as the functional verification of quantum algorithms using hundreds of qubits. Our experiments culminate in the automated verification of the Hidden Shift algorithm for a class of Boolean functions in a fraction of the time it has taken recent algorithms to simulate.

In Peter Selinger and Giulio Chiribella: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Quantum Physics and Logic (QPL 2018), Halifax, Canada, 3-7th June 2018, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 287, pp. 1–21.
Published: 31st January 2019.

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