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Elies Gil-Fuster, Jens Eisert, Vedran Dunjko

One of the most natural connections between quantum and classical machine learning has been established in the context of kernel methods. Kernel methods rely on kernels, which are inner products of feature vectors living in large feature spaces. Quantum kernels are typically evaluated by explicitly constructing quantum feature states and then taking their inner product, here called embedding quantum kernels. Since classical kernels are usually evaluated without using the feature vectors explicitly, we wonder how expressive embedding quantum kernels are. In this work, we raise the fundamental question: can all quantum kernels be expressed as the inner product of quantum feature states? Our first result is positive: Invoking computational universality, we find that for any kernel function there always exists a corresponding quantum feature map and an embedding quantum kernel. The more operational reading of the question is concerned with efficient constructions, however. In a second part, we formalize the question of universality of efficient embedding quantum kernels. For shift-invariant kernels, we use the technique of random Fourier features to show that they are universal within the broad class of all kernels which allow a variant of efficient Fourier sampling. We then extend this result to a new class of so-called composition kernels, which we show also contains projected quantum kernels introduced in recent works. After proving the universality of embedding quantum kernels for both shift-invariant and composition kernels, we identify the directions towards new, more exotic, and unexplored quantum kernel families, for which it still remains open whether they correspond to efficient embedding quantum kernels.

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Ryan Sweke, Erik Recio, Sofiene Jerbi, Elies Gil-Fuster, Bryce Fuller, Jens Eisert, Johannes Jakob Meyer

Quantum machine learning is arguably one of the most explored applications of near-term quantum devices. Much focus has been put on notions of variational quantum machine learning where parameterized quantum circuits (PQCs) are used as learning models. These PQC models have a rich structure which suggests that they might be amenable to efficient dequantization via random Fourier features (RFF). In this work, we establish necessary and sufficient conditions under which RFF does indeed provide an efficient dequantization of variational quantum machine learning for regression. We build on these insights to make concrete suggestions for PQC architecture design, and to identify structures which are necessary for a regression problem to admit a potential quantum advantage via PQC based optimization.

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Elies Gil-Fuster, Jens Eisert, Carlos Bravo-Prieto

Quantum machine learning models have shown successful generalization performance even when trained with few data. In this work, through systematic randomization experiments, we show that traditional approaches to understanding generalization fail to explain the behavior of such quantum models. Our experiments reveal that state-of-the-art quantum neural networks accurately fit random states and random labeling of training data. This ability to memorize random data defies current notions of small generalization error, problematizing approaches that build on complexity measures such as the VC dimension, the Rademacher complexity, and all their uniform relatives. We complement our empirical results with a theoretical construction showing that quantum neural networks can fit arbitrary labels to quantum states, hinting at their memorization ability. Our results do not preclude the possibility of good generalization with few training data but rather rule out any possible guarantees based only on the properties of the model family. These findings expose a fundamental challenge in the conventional understanding of generalization in quantum machine learning and highlight the need for a paradigm shift in the design of quantum models for machine learning tasks.

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Alexander Nietner, Marios Ioannou, Ryan Sweke, Richard Kueng, Jens Eisert, Marcel Hinsche, Jonas Haferkamp

In this work, we show that learning the output distributions of brickwork random quantum circuits is average-case hard in the statistical query model. This learning model is widely used as an abstract computational model for most generic learning algorithms. In particular, for brickwork random quantum circuits on $n$ qubits of depth $d$, we show three main results: - At super logarithmic circuit depth $d=\omega(\log(n))$, any learning algorithm requires super polynomially many queries to achieve a constant probability of success over the randomly drawn instance. - There exists a $d=O(n)$, such that any learning algorithm requires $\Omega(2^n)$ queries to achieve a $O(2^{-n})$ probability of success over the randomly drawn instance. - At infinite circuit depth $d\to\infty$, any learning algorithm requires $2^{2^{\Omega(n)}}$ many queries to achieve a $2^{-2^{\Omega(n)}}$ probability of success over the randomly drawn instance. As an auxiliary result of independent interest, we show that the output distribution of a brickwork random quantum circuit is constantly far from any fixed distribution in total variation distance with probability $1-O(2^{-n})$, which confirms a variant of a conjecture by Aaronson and Chen.

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Junyu Liu, Minzhao Liu, Jin-Peng Liu, Ziyu Ye, Yuri Alexeev, Jens Eisert, Liang Jiang

Large machine learning models are revolutionary technologies of artificial intelligence whose bottlenecks include huge computational expenses, power, and time used both in the pre-training and fine-tuning process. In this work, we show that fault-tolerant quantum computing could possibly provide provably efficient resolutions for generic (stochastic) gradient descent algorithms, scaling as $O(T^2 \times \text{polylog}(n))$, where $n$ is the size of the models and $T$ is the number of iterations in the training, as long as the models are both sufficiently dissipative and sparse. Based on earlier efficient quantum algorithms for dissipative differential equations, we find and prove that similar algorithms work for (stochastic) gradient descent, the primary algorithm for machine learning. In practice, we benchmark instances of large machine learning models from 7 million to 103 million parameters. We find that, in the context of sparse training, a quantum enhancement is possible at the early stage of learning after model pruning, motivating a sparse parameter download and re-upload scheme. Our work shows solidly that fault-tolerant quantum algorithms could potentially contribute to most state-of-the-art, large-scale machine-learning problems.

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Niklas Pirnay, Ryan Sweke, Jens Eisert, Jean-Pierre Seifert

Density modelling is the task of learning an unknown probability density function from samples, and is one of the central problems of unsupervised machine learning. In this work, we show that there exists a density modelling problem for which fault-tolerant quantum computers can offer a super-polynomial advantage over classical learning algorithms, given standard cryptographic assumptions. Along the way, we provide a variety of additional results and insights, of potential interest for proving future distribution learning separations between quantum and classical learning algorithms. Specifically, we (a) provide an overview of the relationships between hardness results in supervised learning and distribution learning, and (b) show that any weak pseudo-random function can be used to construct a classically hard density modelling problem. The latter result opens up the possibility of proving quantum-classical separations for density modelling based on weaker assumptions than those necessary for pseudo-random functions.

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Junyu Liu, Frederik Wilde, Antonio Anna Mele, Liang Jiang, Jens Eisert

Saddle points constitute a crucial challenge for first-order gradient descent algorithms. In notions of classical machine learning, they are avoided for example by means of stochastic gradient descent methods. In this work, we provide evidence that the saddle points problem can be naturally avoided in variational quantum algorithms by exploiting the presence of stochasticity. We prove convergence guarantees of the approach and its practical functioning at hand of examples. We argue that the natural stochasticity of variational algorithms can be beneficial for avoiding strict saddle points, i.e., those saddle points with at least one negative Hessian eigenvalue. This insight that some noise levels could help in this perspective is expected to add a new perspective to notions of near-term variational quantum algorithms.

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Frederik Wilde, Augustine Kshetrimayum, Ingo Roth, Dominik Hangleiter, Ryan Sweke, Jens Eisert

The physics of a closed quantum mechanical system is governed by its Hamiltonian. However, in most practical situations, this Hamiltonian is not precisely known, and ultimately all there is are data obtained from measurements on the system. In this work, we introduce a highly scalable, data-driven approach to learning families of interacting many-body Hamiltonians from dynamical data, by bringing together techniques from gradient-based optimization from machine learning with efficient quantum state representations in terms of tensor networks. Our approach is highly practical, experimentally friendly, and intrinsically scalable to allow for system sizes of above 100 spins. In particular, we demonstrate on synthetic data that the algorithm works even if one is restricted to one simple initial state, a small number of single-qubit observables, and time evolution up to relatively short times. For the concrete example of the one-dimensional Heisenberg model our algorithm exhibits an error constant in the system size and scaling as the inverse square root of the size of the data set.

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Marcel Hinsche, Marios Ioannou, Alexander Nietner, Jonas Haferkamp, Yihui Quek, Dominik Hangleiter, Jean-Pierre Seifert, Jens Eisert, Ryan Sweke

The task of learning a probability distribution from samples is ubiquitous across the natural sciences. The output distributions of local quantum circuits form a particularly interesting class of distributions, of key importance both to quantum advantage proposals and a variety of quantum machine learning algorithms. In this work, we provide an extensive characterization of the learnability of the output distributions of local quantum circuits. Our first result yields insight into the relationship between the efficient learnability and the efficient simulatability of these distributions. Specifically, we prove that the density modelling problem associated with Clifford circuits can be efficiently solved, while for depth $d=n^{\Omega(1)}$ circuits the injection of a single $T$-gate into the circuit renders this problem hard. This result shows that efficient simulatability does not imply efficient learnability. Our second set of results provides insight into the potential and limitations of quantum generative modelling algorithms. We first show that the generative modelling problem associated with depth $d=n^{\Omega(1)}$ local quantum circuits is hard for any learning algorithm, classical or quantum. As a consequence, one cannot use a quantum algorithm to gain a practical advantage for this task. We then show that, for a wide variety of the most practically relevant learning algorithms -- including hybrid-quantum classical algorithms -- even the generative modelling problem associated with depth $d=\omega(\log(n))$ Clifford circuits is hard. This result places limitations on the applicability of near-term hybrid quantum-classical generative modelling algorithms.

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Franz J. Schreiber, Jens Eisert, Johannes Jakob Meyer

The advent of noisy intermediate-scale quantum computers has put the search for possible applications to the forefront of quantum information science. One area where hopes for an advantage through near-term quantum computers are high is quantum machine learning, where variational quantum learning models based on parametrized quantum circuits are discussed. In this work, we introduce the concept of a classical surrogate, a classical model which can be efficiently obtained from a trained quantum learning model and reproduces its input-output relations. As inference can be performed classically, the existence of a classical surrogate greatly enhances the applicability of a quantum learning strategy. However, the classical surrogate also challenges possible advantages of quantum schemes. As it is possible to directly optimize the ansatz of the classical surrogate, they create a natural benchmark the quantum model has to outperform. We show that large classes of well-analyzed re-uploading models have a classical surrogate. We conducted numerical experiments and found that these quantum models show no advantage in performance or trainability in the problems we analyze. This leaves only generalization capability as possible point of quantum advantage and emphasizes the dire need for a better understanding of inductive biases of quantum learning models.

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