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David Layden, Bradley Mitchell, Karthik Siva (Mar 28 2024).

Abstract: Quantum error mitigation techniques mimic noiseless quantum circuits by running several related noisy circuits and combining their outputs in particular ways. How well such techniques work is thought to depend strongly on how noisy the underlying gates are. Weakly-entangling gates, like $R_{ZZ}(\theta)$ for small angles $\theta$, can be much less noisy than entangling Clifford gates, like CNOT and CZ, and they arise naturally in circuits used to simulate quantum dynamics. However, such weakly-entangling gates are non-Clifford, and are therefore incompatible with two of the most prominent error mitigation techniques to date: probabilistic error cancellation (PEC) and the related form of zero-noise extrapolation (ZNE). This paper generalizes these techniques to non-Clifford gates, and comprises two complementary parts. The first part shows how to effectively transform any given quantum channel into (almost) any desired channel, at the cost of a sampling overhead, by adding random Pauli gates and processing the measurement outcomes. This enables us to cancel or properly amplify noise in non-Clifford gates, provided we can first characterize such gates in detail. The second part therefore introduces techniques to do so for noisy $R_{ZZ}(\theta)$ gates. These techniques are robust to state preparation and measurement (SPAM) errors, and exhibit concentration and sensitivity–crucial features in many experiments. They are related to randomized benchmarking, and may also be of interest beyond the context of error mitigation. We find that while non-Clifford gates can be less noisy than related Cliffords, their noise is fundamentally more complex, which can lead to surprising and sometimes unwanted effects in error mitigation. Whether this trade-off can be broadly advantageous remains to be seen.

Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/2403.18793