Quantum Neuron: an elementary building block for machine learning on quantum computers

30 Nov 2017  ·  Yudong Cao, Gian Giacomo Guerreschi, Alán Aspuru-Guzik ·

Even the most sophisticated artificial neural networks are built by aggregating substantially identical units called neurons. A neuron receives multiple signals, internally combines them, and applies a non-linear function to the resulting weighted sum. Several attempts to generalize neurons to the quantum regime have been proposed, but all proposals collided with the difficulty of implementing non-linear activation functions, which is essential for classical neurons, due to the linear nature of quantum mechanics. Here we propose a solution to this roadblock in the form of a small quantum circuit that naturally simulates neurons with threshold activation. Our quantum circuit defines a building block, the "quantum neuron", that can reproduce a variety of classical neural network constructions while maintaining the ability to process superpositions of inputs and preserve quantum coherence and entanglement. In the construction of feedforward networks of quantum neurons, we provide numerical evidence that the network not only can learn a function when trained with superposition of inputs and the corresponding output, but that this training suffices to learn the function on all individual inputs separately. When arranged to mimic Hopfield networks, quantum neural networks exhibit properties of associative memory. Patterns are encoded using the simple Hebbian rule for the weights and we demonstrate attractor dynamics from corrupted inputs. Finally, the fact that our quantum model closely captures (traditional) neural network dynamics implies that the vast body of literature and results on neural networks becomes directly relevant in the context of quantum machine learning.

PDF Abstract


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.


No methods listed for this paper. Add relevant methods here