Contextual Subspace Variational Quantum Eigensolver
Published 2020-11-19Version 1
We describe contextual subspace variational quantum eigensolver (CS-VQE), a hybrid quantum-classical algorithm for approximating the ground state energy of a Hamiltonian. The approximation to the ground state energy is obtained as the sum of two contributions. The first contribution arises from a noncontextual approximation to the Hamiltonian, and is computed classically. The second contribution is obtained by using the variational quantum eigensolver (VQE) technique to compute a contextual correction on a quantum processor. In general the VQE computation of the contextual correction uses fewer qubits and measurements than the VQE computation of the original problem. Varying the number of qubits used for the contextual correction adjusts the quality of the approximation. We simulate CS-VQE on tapered Hamiltonians for small molecules, and find that the number of qubits required to reach chemical accuracy can be reduced by more than a factor of two. The number of terms required to compute the contextual correction can be reduced by more than a factor of ten, without the use of other measurement reduction schemes. This indicates that CS-VQE is a promising approach for eigenvalue computations on noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices.