Fast quantum gate design with deep reinforcement learning using real-time feedback on readout signals




Wright, Emily

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The design of high-fidelity quantum gates is difficult because it requires the optimization of two competing effects, namely maximizing gate speed and minimizing leakage out of the qubit subspace. We propose a deep reinforcement learning algorithm that uses two agents to address the speed and leakage challenges simultaneously on superconducting transmon qubits. The first agent constructs the qubit in-phase control pulse using a policy learned from rewards that compensate short gate times. The rewards are obtained at intermediate time steps throughout the construction of a full-length pulse, allowing the agent to explore the landscape of shorter pulses. The second agent determines an out-of-phase pulse to target leakage. Both agents are trained on real-time data from noisy hardware, thus providing model-free gate design that adapts to unpredictable hardware noise. To reduce the effect of measurement classification errors, the agents are trained directly on the readout signal from probing the qubit. We present proof-of-concept experiments by designing X and square root of X gates of various durations on IBM hardware. After just 200 training iterations, our algorithm is able to construct novel control pulses up to two times faster than the default IBM gates, while matching their performance in terms of state fidelity and leakage rate. As the length of our custom control pulses increases, they begin to out-perform the default gates. Improvements to the speed and fidelity of gate operations open the way for higher circuit depth in quantum simulation, quantum chemistry and other algorithms on near-term and future quantum devices.



Quantum Computing, Reinforcement Learning, Optimal Control