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Critical Points in Quantum Generative Models

Eric Anschuetz



One of the most important properties of neural networks is the clustering of local minima of the loss function near the global minimum, enabling efficient training. Though generative models implemented on quantum computers are known to be more expressive than their traditional counterparts, it has empirically been observed that these models experience a transition in the quality of their local minima. Namely, below some critical number of parameters, all local minima are far from the global minimum in function value; above this critical parameter count, all local minima are good approximators of the global minimum. Furthermore, for a certain class of quantum generative models, this transition has empirically been observed to occur at parameter counts exponentially large in the problem size, meaning practical training of these models is out of reach. Here, we give the first proof of this transition in trainability, specializing to this latter class of quantum generative model. We use techniques inspired by those used to study the loss landscapes of classical neural networks. We also verify that our analytic results hold experimentally even at modest model sizes.

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