Quantum-assisted Helmholtz machines: A quantum-classical deep learning framework for industrial datasets in near-term devices


Machine learning has been presented as one of the key applications for near-term quantum technologies, given its high commercial value and wide range of applicability. In this work, we introduce the quantum-assisted Helmholtz machine: a hybrid quantum-classical framework with the potential of tackling high-dimensional real-world machine learning datasets on continuous variables. Instead of using quantum computers only to assist deep learning, as previous approaches have suggested, we use deep learning to extract a low-dimensional binary representation of data, suitable for processing on relatively small quantum computers. Then, the quantum hardware and deep learning architecture work together to train an unsupervised generative model. We demonstrate this concept using 1644 quantum bits of a D-Wave 2000Q quantum device to model a sub-sampled version of the MNIST handwritten digit dataset with 16 × 16 continuous valued pixels. Although we illustrate this concept on a quantum annealer, adaptations to other quantum platforms, such as ion-trap technologies or superconducting gate-model architectures, could be explored within this flexible framework.

Gabriel Mazzucchi, Santiago F. Caballero-Benitez, Igor B. Mekhov

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