A SAT Encoding for Optimal Clifford Circuit Synthesis


Executing quantum algorithms on a quantum computer requires compilation to representations that conform to all restrictions imposed by the device. Due to device’s limited coherence times and gate fidelities, the compilation process has to be optimized as much as possible. To this end, an algorithm’s description first has to be synthesized using the device’s gate library. In this paper, we consider the optimal synthesis of Clifford circuits—an important subclass of quantum circuits, with various applications. Such techniques are essential to establish lower bounds for (heuristic) synthesis methods and gauging their performance. Due to the huge search space, existing optimal techniques are limited to a maximum of six qubits. The contribution of this work is twofold: First, we propose an optimal synthesis method for Clifford circuits based on encoding the task as a satisfiability (SAT) problem and solving it using a SAT solver in conjunction with a binary search scheme. The resulting tool is demonstrated to synthesize optimal circuits for up to 26 qubits—more than four times as many as the current state of the art. Second, we experimentally show that the overhead introduced by state-of-the-art heuristics exceeds the lower bound by 27 percent on average. The resulting tool is publicly available at https://github.com/cda-tum/qmap.

arXiv:2208.11713 [quant-ph]
Lukas Burgholzer
Lukas Burgholzer
PhD Student

My research interests include design automation for quantum computing, decision diagrams, and in particular equivalence checking of quantum circuits