Improving the Accuracy of Variational Quantum Eigensolvers with Fewer Qubits Using Orbital Optimization.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Near-term quantum computers will be limited in the number of qubits on which they can process information as well as the depth of the circuits that they can coherently carry out. To date, experimental demonstrations of algorithms such as the Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE) have been limited to small molecules using minimal basis sets for this reason. In this work we propose incorporating an orbital optimization scheme into quantum eigensolvers wherein a parametrized partial unitary transformation is applied to the basis functions set in order to reduce the number of qubits required for a given problem. The optimal transformation is found by minimizing the ground state energy with respect to this partial unitary matrix. Through numerical simulations of small molecules up to 16 spin orbitals, we demonstrate that this method has the ability to greatly extend the capabilities of near-term quantum computers with regard to the electronic structure problem. We find that VQE paired with orbital optimization consistently achieves lower ground state energies than traditional VQE when using the same number of qubits and even frequently achieves lower ground state energies than VQE methods using more qubits.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bierman, J; Li, Y; Lu, J

Published Date

  • February 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 790 - 798

PubMed ID

  • 36696487

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1549-9626

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1549-9618

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/acs.jctc.2c00895


  • eng