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Hsin-Yuan Huang, Richard Kueng, John Preskill

We study the complexity of training classical and quantum machine learning (ML) models for predicting outcomes of physical experiments. The experiments depend on an input parameter $x$ and involve the execution of a (possibly unknown) quantum process $\mathcal{E}$. Our figure of merit is the number of runs of $\mathcal{E}$ during training, disregarding other measures of runtime. A classical ML model performs a measurement and records the classical outcome after each run of $\mathcal{E}$, while a quantum ML model can access $\mathcal{E}$ coherently to acquire quantum data; the classical or quantum data is then used to predict outcomes of future experiments. We prove that, for any input distribution $\mathcal{D}(x)$, a classical ML model can provide accurate predictions on average by accessing $\mathcal{E}$ a number of times comparable to the optimal quantum ML model. In contrast, for achieving accurate prediction on all inputs, we show that exponential quantum advantage is possible for certain tasks. For example, to predict expectation values of all Pauli observables in an $n$-qubit system $\rho$, we present a quantum ML model using only $\mathcal{O}(n)$ copies of $\rho$ and prove that classical ML models require $2^{\Omega(n)}$ copies.

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Hsin-Yuan Huang, Michael Broughton, Masoud Mohseni, Ryan Babbush, Sergio Boixo, Hartmut Neven, Jarrod R. McClean

The use of quantum computing for machine learning is among the most exciting prospective applications of quantum technologies. At the crux of excitement is the potential for quantum computers to perform some computations exponentially faster than their classical counterparts. However, a machine learning task where some data is provided can be considerably different than more commonly studied computational tasks. In this work, we show that some problems that are classically hard to compute can be predicted easily with classical machines that learn from data. We find that classical machines can often compete or outperform existing quantum models even on data sets generated by quantum evolution, especially at large system sizes. Using rigorous prediction error bounds as a foundation, we develop a methodology for assessing the potential for quantum advantage in prediction on learning tasks. We show how the use of exponentially large quantum Hilbert space in existing quantum models can result in significantly inferior prediction performance compared to classical machines. To circumvent the observed setbacks, we propose an improvement by projecting all quantum states to an approximate classical representation. The projected quantum model provides a simple and rigorous quantum speed-up for a recently proposed learning problem in the fault-tolerant regime. For more near-term quantum models, the projected versions demonstrate a significant prediction advantage over some classical models on engineered data sets in one of the largest numerical tests for gate-based quantum machine learning to date, up to 30 qubits.

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Hsin-Yuan Huang, Richard Kueng, John Preskill

Predicting properties of complex, large-scale quantum systems is essential for developing quantum technologies. We present an efficient method for constructing an approximate classical description of a quantum state using very few measurements of the state. This description, called a classical shadow, can be used to predict many different properties: order $\log M$ measurements suffice to accurately predict $M$ different functions of the state with high success probability. The number of measurements is independent of the system size, and saturates information-theoretic lower bounds. Moreover, target properties to predict can be selected after the measurements are completed. We support our theoretical findings with extensive numerical experiments. We apply classical shadows to predict quantum fidelities, entanglement entropies, two-point correlation functions, expectation values of local observables, and the energy variance of many-body local Hamiltonians, which allows applications to speedup variational quantum algorithms. The numerical results highlight the advantages of classical shadows relative to previously known methods.

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Hsin-Yuan Huang, Richard Kueng

Predicting features of complex, large-scale quantum systems is essential to the characterization and engineering of quantum architectures. We present an efficient approach for predicting a large number of linear features using classical shadows obtained from very few quantum measurements. This approach is guaranteed to accurately predict $M$ linear functions with bounded Hilbert-Schmidt norm from only $\log (M)$ measurement repetitions. This sampling rate is completely independent of the system size and saturates fundamental lower bounds from information theory. We support our theoretical findings with numerical experiments over a wide range of problem sizes (2 to 162 qubits). These highlight advantages compared to existing machine learning approaches.

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Hsin-Yuan Huang, Eunsol Choi, Wen-tau Yih

Conversational machine comprehension requires a deep understanding of the conversation history. To enable traditional, single-turn models to encode the history comprehensively, we introduce Flow, a mechanism that can incorporate intermediate representations generated during the process of answering previous questions, through an alternating parallel processing structure. Compared to shallow approaches that concatenate previous questions/answers as input, Flow integrates the latent semantics of the conversation history more deeply. Our model, FlowQA, shows superior performance on two recently proposed conversational challenges (+7.2% F1 on CoQA and +4.0% on QuAC). The effectiveness of Flow also shows in other tasks. By reducing sequential instruction understanding to conversational machine comprehension, FlowQA outperforms the best models on all three domains in SCONE, with +1.8% to +4.4% improvement in accuracy.

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Hsin-Yuan Huang, Chenguang Zhu, Yelong Shen, Weizhu Chen

This paper introduces a new neural structure called FusionNet, which extends existing attention approaches from three perspectives. First, it puts forward a novel concept of "history of word" to characterize attention information from the lowest word-level embedding up to the highest semantic-level representation. Second, it introduces an improved attention scoring function that better utilizes the "history of word" concept. Third, it proposes a fully-aware multi-level attention mechanism to capture the complete information in one text (such as a question) and exploit it in its counterpart (such as context or passage) layer by layer. We apply FusionNet to the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) and it achieves the first position for both single and ensemble model on the official SQuAD leaderboard at the time of writing (Oct. 4th, 2017). Meanwhile, we verify the generalization of FusionNet with two adversarial SQuAD datasets and it sets up the new state-of-the-art on both datasets: on AddSent, FusionNet increases the best F1 metric from 46.6% to 51.4%; on AddOneSent, FusionNet boosts the best F1 metric from 56.0% to 60.7%.

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