Quantum Circuits for Dynamic Runtime Assertions in Quantum Computation

Session: Quantum computing--Who says you can't watch two talks at once?

Authors: Ji Liu (North Carolina State University); Gregory Byrd (North Carolina State University); Huiyang Zhou (North Carolina State University)

In this paper, we propose quantum circuits for runtime assertions, which can be used for both software debugging and error detection. Runtime assertion is challenging in quantum computing for two key reasons. First, a quantum bit (qubit) cannot be copied, which is known as the non-cloning theorem. Second, when a qubit is measured, its superposition state collapses into a classical state, losing the inherent parallel information. In this paper, we overcome these challenges with runtime computation through ancilla qubits, which are used to indirectly collect the information of the qubits of interest. We design quantum circuits to assert classical states, entanglement, and superposition states. Our experimental results show that they are effective in debugging as well as improving the success rate for various quantum algorithms on IBM Q quantum computers.