Quantum computing research in Poland with Amazon Braket
With a host of vibrant research centers, scientists and engineers in Poland have made valuable contributions to quantum information science over the past 40 years. Today, as a large number of quantum hardware technologies are becoming available for experimentation, Polish researchers are turning to Amazon Braket – the AWS quantum computing service to test new ideas and accelerate the development of quantum computing applications.
AWS supports researchers around the globe seeking to leverage cloud-hosted services, software, and tools via the AWS Cloud Credit for Research Program. Through the program researchers in quantum computing can apply for AWS credits to offset the costs of using quantum computers and simulators offered by Amazon Braket. In this post we will introduce two research groups that used the program and Amazon Braket to accelerate their research.
The Quantin Research Group, led by Professor Michał Oszmaniec at the Center for Theoretical Physics at the Polish Academy of Sciences, works on fundamental and applied aspects of quantum computing. Its focus is on the characterization and mitigation of errors in near-term quantum computers. In particular, the team is developing computationally-efficient methods to study and mitigate the effects of noise and cross-talk during the measurement process in superconducting qubits. Measurement noise is one of the principal sources of errors in the quantum devices available today, and improving the quality of measurements is vital to practical applications of quantum computers.
“Measurement errors in superconducting quantum devices can be, to a good approximation, modeled by classical stochastic maps.”, explained Professor Oszmaniec. “With Amazon Braket, we are able to apply recently-developed techniques to learn the structure of stochastic noise. We want to determine the type and magnitude of cross-talk in readout noise and are investigating an algorithm for grouping qubits into clusters exhibiting significant cross-talk. We then employ the obtained noise model in various readout error-mitigation schemes and study their dependence on the adopted noise model. Experiments so far have greatly improved our understanding of the structure of correlated measurement noise on the Rigetti Aspen-9 quantum processor. We hope further experiments will allow us to devise a comprehensive and scalable framework for measurement characterization and error mitigation applicable to even larger quantum computers.”. Professor Oszmaniec’s work using Amazon Braket was featured in IBS Tech.
Another team at the Faculty of Cybernetics of the Military University of Technology in Warsaw, led by Dr. Krzysztof Kanciak, is investigating the application of quantum computers to the cryptographic security of common ciphers. Cryptography is incredibly important in daily life, with modern communications, banking, cryptocurrencies, and social media all relying on advanced cryptographic schemes. The development of quantum computers may eventually allow new methods of attacking some public key cryptosystems, and research teams are working to understand the nature of this threat and techniques to mitigate its impact.
Dr. Kanciak is working on a proof-of-concept implementation of a prototypical block cipher attack. The team is investigating how to implement a quantum version of the Known-Plaintext Attack (KPA) on a toy version of the ARX cipher ‘Speck’ with a 4-bit block size, a 2-bit word/key size, and two encryption rounds. Determining the complexity of this style of quantum attack is crucial for understanding the threats to the security of symmetric cryptography, and for developing post-quantum cryptography schemes that are more secure.
“I am currently working on algebraic analysis of lightweight block ciphers using Grover’s quantum search algorithm.”, explained Dr. Kanciak. “In our experiment, we construct an algebraic system of equations which allows us to deduce the secret key used to encrypt a message. We solve this system of equations using Grover’s algorithm executed on a quantum processing unit (QPU) via the Amazon Braket SDK. We then analyze the computational cost of solving such a system in terms of number of gates used and size of quantum circuit, and try to find ways to optimize those metrics. Results of these experiments allow us to make assessments of the security of the examined cipher against future quantum computers.”.
Both projects will help contribute to our understanding of quantum computing technology and its applications to the academic and business world. These projects are an example of the support offered by AWS to researchers in quantum computing globally. If you are conducting research in quantum computing and would like to learn more about Amazon Braket, please contact us via email, your AWS account manager, or the AWS Cloud Credit for Research program.