Classically simulating near-term partially-distinguishable and lossy boson sampling

Alexandra E. Moylett, Raúl García-Patrón, Jelmer J. Renema, Peter S. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Boson Sampling is the problem of sampling from the same distribution as indistinguishable single photons at the output of a linear optical interferometer. It is an example of a non-universal quantum computation which is believed to be feasible in the near term and cannot be simulated on a classical machine. Like all purported demonstrations of "quantum computational supremacy", this motivates optimizing classical simulation schemes for a realistic model of the problem, in this case Boson Sampling when the implementations experience lost or distinguishable photons. Although current simulation schemes for sufficiently imperfect boson sampling are classically efficient, in principle the polynomial runtime can be infeasibly large. In this work, we develop a scheme for classical simulation of Boson Sampling under uniform distinguishability and loss, based on the idea of sampling from distributions where at most k photons are indistinguishable. We show that asymptotically this scheme can provide a polynomial improvement in the runtime compared to classically simulating idealised Boson Sampling. More significantly, we show that in the regime considered experimentally relevant, our approach gives an substantial improvement in runtime over other classical simulation approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015001
Number of pages18
JournalQuantum Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2019

Structured keywords

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