An initialization strategy for addressing barren plateaus in parametrized quantum circuits

ABSTRACT

In this technical note we propose a theoretically motivated and empirically validated initialization strategy which can resolve the barren plateau problem for practical applications. The proposed strategy allows for efficient training of parametrized quantum circuits. The technique involves randomly selecting some of the initial parameter values, then choosing the remaining values so that the final circuit is a sequence of shallow unitary blocks that each evaluates to the identity. Initializing in this way limits the effective depth of the circuits used to calculate the first parameter update so that they cannot be stuck in a barren plateau at the start of training. We show empirically that circuits initialized using this strategy can be trained using a gradient based method.

Marcello Benedetti, Edward Grant, Leonard Wossnig, Mateusz Ostaszewski

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