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Abstract:We investigate the problem of predicting the output behavior of unknown quantum channels. Given query access to an $n$-qubit channel $E$ and an observable $O$, we aim to learn the mapping \begin{equation*} \rho \mapsto \mathrm{Tr}(O E[\rho]) \end{equation*} to within a small error for most $\rho$ sampled from a distribution $D$. Previously, Huang, Chen, and Preskill proved a surprising result that even if $E$ is arbitrary, this task can be solved in time roughly $n^{O(\log(1/\epsilon))}$, where $\epsilon$ is the target prediction error. However, their guarantee applied only to input distributions $D$ invariant under all single-qubit Clifford gates, and their algorithm fails for important cases such as general product distributions over product states $\rho$. In this work, we propose a new approach that achieves accurate prediction over essentially any product distribution $D$, provided it is not "classical" in which case there is a trivial exponential lower bound. Our method employs a "biased Pauli analysis," analogous to classical biased Fourier analysis. Implementing this approach requires overcoming several challenges unique to the quantum setting, including the lack of a basis with appropriate orthogonality properties. The techniques we develop to address these issues may have broader applications in quantum information.

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Abstract:We give the first tight sample complexity bounds for shadow tomography and classical shadows in the regime where the target error is below some sufficiently small inverse polynomial in the dimension of the Hilbert space. Formally we give a protocol that, given any $m\in\mathbb{N}$ and $\epsilon \le O(d^{-12})$, measures $O(\log(m)/\epsilon^2)$ copies of an unknown mixed state $\rho\in\mathbb{C}^{d\times d}$ and outputs a classical description of $\rho$ which can then be used to estimate any collection of $m$ observables to within additive accuracy $\epsilon$. Previously, even for the simpler task of shadow tomography -- where the $m$ observables are known in advance -- the best known rates either scaled benignly but suboptimally in all of $m, d, \epsilon$, or scaled optimally in $\epsilon, m$ but had additional polynomial factors in $d$ for general observables. Intriguingly, we also show via dimensionality reduction, that we can rescale $\epsilon$ and $d$ to reduce to the regime where $\epsilon \le O(d^{-1/2})$. Our algorithm draws upon representation-theoretic tools recently developed in the context of full state tomography.

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Abstract:The $k$-principal component analysis ($k$-PCA) problem is a fundamental algorithmic primitive that is widely-used in data analysis and dimensionality reduction applications. In statistical settings, the goal of $k$-PCA is to identify a top eigenspace of the covariance matrix of a distribution, which we only have implicit access to via samples. Motivated by these implicit settings, we analyze black-box deflation methods as a framework for designing $k$-PCA algorithms, where we model access to the unknown target matrix via a black-box $1$-PCA oracle which returns an approximate top eigenvector, under two popular notions of approximation. Despite being arguably the most natural reduction-based approach to $k$-PCA algorithm design, such black-box methods, which recursively call a $1$-PCA oracle $k$ times, were previously poorly-understood. Our main contribution is significantly sharper bounds on the approximation parameter degradation of deflation methods for $k$-PCA. For a quadratic form notion of approximation we term ePCA (energy PCA), we show deflation methods suffer no parameter loss. For an alternative well-studied approximation notion we term cPCA (correlation PCA), we tightly characterize the parameter regimes where deflation methods are feasible. Moreover, we show that in all feasible regimes, $k$-cPCA deflation algorithms suffer no asymptotic parameter loss for any constant $k$. We apply our framework to obtain state-of-the-art $k$-PCA algorithms robust to dataset contamination, improving prior work both in sample complexity and approximation quality.

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Abstract:There has been significant interest in understanding how practical constraints on contemporary quantum devices impact the complexity of quantum learning. For the classic question of tomography, recent work tightly characterized the copy complexity for any protocol that can only measure one copy of the unknown state at a time, showing it is polynomially worse than if one can make fully-entangled measurements. While we now have a fairly complete picture of the rates for such tasks in the near-term and fault-tolerant regimes, it remains poorly understood what the landscape in between looks like. In this work, we study tomography in the natural setting where one can make measurements of $t$ copies at a time. For sufficiently small $\epsilon$, we show that for any $t \le d^2$, $\widetilde{\Theta}(\frac{d^3}{\sqrt{t}\epsilon^2})$ copies are necessary and sufficient to learn an unknown $d$-dimensional state $\rho$ to trace distance $\epsilon$. This gives a smooth and optimal interpolation between the known rates for single-copy and fully-entangled measurements. To our knowledge, this is the first smooth entanglement-copy tradeoff known for any quantum learning task, and for tomography, no intermediate point on this curve was known, even at $t = 2$. An important obstacle is that unlike the optimal single-copy protocol, the optimal fully-entangled protocol is inherently biased and thus precludes naive batching approaches. Instead, we devise a novel two-stage procedure that uses Keyl's algorithm to refine a crude estimate for $\rho$ based on single-copy measurements. A key insight is to use Schur-Weyl sampling not to estimate the spectrum of $\rho$, but to estimate the deviation of $\rho$ from the maximally mixed state. When $\rho$ is far from the maximally mixed state, we devise a novel quantum splitting procedure that reduces to the case where $\rho$ is close to maximally mixed.

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Authors:Arun Jambulapati, Jerry Li, Christopher Musco, Kirankumar Shiragur, Aaron Sidford, Kevin Tian

Abstract:We develop a general framework for finding approximately-optimal preconditioners for solving linear systems. Leveraging this framework we obtain improved runtimes for fundamental preconditioning and linear system solving problems including the following. We give an algorithm which, given positive definite $\mathbf{K} \in \mathbb{R}^{d \times d}$ with $\mathrm{nnz}(\mathbf{K})$ nonzero entries, computes an $\epsilon$-optimal diagonal preconditioner in time $\widetilde{O}(\mathrm{nnz}(\mathbf{K}) \cdot \mathrm{poly}(\kappa^\star,\epsilon^{-1}))$, where $\kappa^\star$ is the optimal condition number of the rescaled matrix. We give an algorithm which, given $\mathbf{M} \in \mathbb{R}^{d \times d}$ that is either the pseudoinverse of a graph Laplacian matrix or a constant spectral approximation of one, solves linear systems in $\mathbf{M}$ in $\widetilde{O}(d^2)$ time. Our diagonal preconditioning results improve state-of-the-art runtimes of $\Omega(d^{3.5})$ attained by general-purpose semidefinite programming, and our solvers improve state-of-the-art runtimes of $\Omega(d^{\omega})$ where $\omega > 2.3$ is the current matrix multiplication constant. We attain our results via new algorithms for a class of semidefinite programs (SDPs) we call matrix-dictionary approximation SDPs, which we leverage to solve an associated problem we call matrix-dictionary recovery.

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Authors:Marah I Abdin, Suriya Gunasekar, Varun Chandrasekaran, Jerry Li, Mert Yuksekgonul, Rahee Ghosh Peshawaria, Ranjita Naik, Besmira Nushi

Abstract:We study the ability of state-of-the art models to answer constraint satisfaction queries for information retrieval (e.g., 'a list of ice cream shops in San Diego'). In the past, such queries were considered to be tasks that could only be solved via web-search or knowledge bases. More recently, large language models (LLMs) have demonstrated initial emergent abilities in this task. However, many current retrieval benchmarks are either saturated or do not measure constraint satisfaction. Motivated by rising concerns around factual incorrectness and hallucinations of LLMs, we present KITAB, a new dataset for measuring constraint satisfaction abilities of language models. KITAB consists of book-related data across more than 600 authors and 13,000 queries, and also offers an associated dynamic data collection and constraint verification approach for acquiring similar test data for other authors. Our extended experiments on GPT4 and GPT3.5 characterize and decouple common failure modes across dimensions such as information popularity, constraint types, and context availability. Results show that in the absence of context, models exhibit severe limitations as measured by irrelevant information, factual errors, and incompleteness, many of which exacerbate as information popularity decreases. While context availability mitigates irrelevant information, it is not helpful for satisfying constraints, identifying fundamental barriers to constraint satisfaction. We open source our contributions to foster further research on improving constraint satisfaction abilities of future models.

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Abstract:We give a new framework for solving the fundamental problem of low-rank matrix completion, i.e., approximating a rank-$r$ matrix $\mathbf{M} \in \mathbb{R}^{m \times n}$ (where $m \ge n$) from random observations. First, we provide an algorithm which completes $\mathbf{M}$ on $99\%$ of rows and columns under no further assumptions on $\mathbf{M}$ from $\approx mr$ samples and using $\approx mr^2$ time. Then, assuming the row and column spans of $\mathbf{M}$ satisfy additional regularity properties, we show how to boost this partial completion guarantee to a full matrix completion algorithm by aggregating solutions to regression problems involving the observations. In the well-studied setting where $\mathbf{M}$ has incoherent row and column spans, our algorithms complete $\mathbf{M}$ to high precision from $mr^{2+o(1)}$ observations in $mr^{3 + o(1)}$ time (omitting logarithmic factors in problem parameters), improving upon the prior state-of-the-art [JN15] which used $\approx mr^5$ samples and $\approx mr^7$ time. Under an assumption on the row and column spans of $\mathbf{M}$ we introduce (which is satisfied by random subspaces with high probability), our sample complexity improves to an almost information-theoretically optimal $mr^{1 + o(1)}$, and our runtime improves to $mr^{2 + o(1)}$. Our runtimes have the appealing property of matching the best known runtime to verify that a rank-$r$ decomposition $\mathbf{U}\mathbf{V}^\top$ agrees with the sampled observations. We also provide robust variants of our algorithms that, given random observations from $\mathbf{M} + \mathbf{N}$ with $\|\mathbf{N}\|_{F} \le \Delta$, complete $\mathbf{M}$ to Frobenius norm distance $\approx r^{1.5}\Delta$ in the same runtimes as the noiseless setting. Prior noisy matrix completion algorithms [CP10] only guaranteed a distance of $\approx \sqrt{n}\Delta$.

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Abstract:Large Language Models (LLMs) have shown impressive performance as general purpose agents, but their abilities remain highly dependent on prompts which are hand written with onerous trial-and-error effort. We propose a simple and nonparametric solution to this problem, Automatic Prompt Optimization (APO), which is inspired by numerical gradient descent to automatically improve prompts, assuming access to training data and an LLM API. The algorithm uses minibatches of data to form natural language ``gradients'' that criticize the current prompt. The gradients are then ``propagated'' into the prompt by editing the prompt in the opposite semantic direction of the gradient. These gradient descent steps are guided by a beam search and bandit selection procedure which significantly improves algorithmic efficiency. Preliminary results across three benchmark NLP tasks and the novel problem of LLM jailbreak detection suggest that Automatic Prompt Optimization can outperform prior prompt editing techniques and improve an initial prompt's performance by up to 31\%, by using data to rewrite vague task descriptions into more precise annotation instructions.

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Abstract:Log-concave sampling has witnessed remarkable algorithmic advances in recent years, but the corresponding problem of proving lower bounds for this task has remained elusive, with lower bounds previously known only in dimension one. In this work, we establish the following query lower bounds: (1) sampling from strongly log-concave and log-smooth distributions in dimension $d\ge 2$ requires $\Omega(\log \kappa)$ queries, which is sharp in any constant dimension, and (2) sampling from Gaussians in dimension $d$ (hence also from general log-concave and log-smooth distributions in dimension $d$) requires $\widetilde \Omega(\min(\sqrt\kappa \log d, d))$ queries, which is nearly sharp for the class of Gaussians. Here $\kappa$ denotes the condition number of the target distribution. Our proofs rely upon (1) a multiscale construction inspired by work on the Kakeya conjecture in harmonic analysis, and (2) a novel reduction that demonstrates that block Krylov algorithms are optimal for this problem, as well as connections to lower bound techniques based on Wishart matrices developed in the matrix-vector query literature.

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Abstract:Machine learning models are known to be susceptible to adversarial perturbation. One famous attack is the adversarial patch, a sticker with a particularly crafted pattern that makes the model incorrectly predict the object it is placed on. This attack presents a critical threat to cyber-physical systems that rely on cameras such as autonomous cars. Despite the significance of the problem, conducting research in this setting has been difficult; evaluating attacks and defenses in the real world is exceptionally costly while synthetic data are unrealistic. In this work, we propose the REAP (REalistic Adversarial Patch) benchmark, a digital benchmark that allows the user to evaluate patch attacks on real images, and under real-world conditions. Built on top of the Mapillary Vistas dataset, our benchmark contains over 14,000 traffic signs. Each sign is augmented with a pair of geometric and lighting transformations, which can be used to apply a digitally generated patch realistically onto the sign. Using our benchmark, we perform the first large-scale assessments of adversarial patch attacks under realistic conditions. Our experiments suggest that adversarial patch attacks may present a smaller threat than previously believed and that the success rate of an attack on simpler digital simulations is not predictive of its actual effectiveness in practice. We release our benchmark publicly at https://github.com/wagner-group/reap-benchmark.

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