Verified phase estimation for error mitigation of a variational quantum eigensolver
In this talk I will go over background and implementation details of a new error mitigation technique, verified phase estimation (VPE). This technique is based on quantum phase estimation, but can also reduce errors in expectation value estimation (e.g., for variational algorithms). The general idea is to apply phase estimation while effectively post-selecting for the system register to be in the starting state, which allows us to catch and discard errors which knock us away from there. VPE can be adapted to function without the use of control qubits in order to simplify the control circuitry for near-term implementations. Using VPE, we demonstrate the estimation of expectation values on numerical simulations of intermediate scale quantum circuits with multiple orders of magnitude improvement over unmitigated estimation at near-term error rates (even after accounting for the additional complexity of phase estimation). Our numerical results suggest that VPE can mitigate against any single errors that might occur; i.e., the error in the estimated expectation values often scale as O(p^2), where p is the probability of an error occurring at any point in the circuit. This property, combined with robustness to sampling noise, reveal VPE as a practical technique for mitigating errors in near-term quantum experiments.