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In-Person Poster presentation / poster accept

Classically Approximating Variational Quantum Machine Learning with Random Fourier Features

Jonas Landman · Slimane Thabet · Constantin Dalyac · Hela Mhiri · Elham Kashefi

MH1-2-3-4 #70

Keywords: [ random Fourier features ] [ quantum machine learning ] [ kernel approximation ] [ Quantum Computing ] [ Variational Quantum Circuits ] [ General Machine Learning ]


Many applications of quantum computing in the near term rely on variational quantum circuits (VQCs). They have been showcased as a promising model for reaching a quantum advantage in machine learning with current noisy intermediate scale quantum computers (NISQ). It is often believed that the power of VQCs relies on their exponentially large feature space, and extensive works have explored the expressiveness and trainability of VQCs in that regard. In our work, we propose a classical sampling method that can closely approximate most VQCs with Hamiltonian encoding, given only the description of their architecture. It uses the seminal proposal of Random Fourier Features (RFF) and the fact that VQCs can be seen as large Fourier series. We show theoretically and experimentally that models built from exponentially large quantum feature space can be classically reproduced by sampling a few frequencies to build an equivalent low dimensional kernel. Precisely, we show that the number of required samples grows favourably with the size of the quantum spectrum. This tool therefore questions the hope for quantum advantage from VQCs in many cases, but conversely helps to narrow the conditions for their potential success. We expect VQCs with various and complex encoding Hamiltonians, or with large input dimension, to become more robust to classical approximations.

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