New quantum data protocol takes humans closer to a future ‘quantum internet’


Researchers make efforts every day towards the creation of  'quantum internet', and now, a new quantum data protocol has been developed which brings humans nearer its fruition.

Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) researchers have managed to go through one of the many issues present when designing a quantum internet connection by optimizing automated information treatment protocols to work with quantum data sets.

They created an optimal internet procedure that can identify such sets, and this is conducted through a quantum network protocol that can determine common underlying probability distributions, organizing them into patterns that are recognizable.


Schedule of the quantum data classification protocol. Image credit: UAB

Quantum internet promises a "virtually unbreakable privacy and security in communications; a more mature network could include a range of applications for science and beyond that aren’t possible with classical systems," Davide Castelvecchi said in Nature Research. Instead of radio waves, this future internet would use quantum signals to deliver information.

Furthermore, quantum-based communication and computation technologies would be "capable of solving specific problems with a level of efficiency impossible to reach by classical computers."

Quantum computers are also envisioned as nodes in a network of quantum devices, "where connections are established via quantum channels and data are quantum systems that flow through the network, thus setting the bases for a future quantum internet."

With the quantum information's design, networks face new theoretical challenges considering that it is important to build optimized automated information protocols to work with quantum data, and UAB researchers dealt with it for the first time.

The protocol developed by the researchers showed a natural connection to an archetypical use case of classical machine learning– clustering data samples based on whether they share the same underlying probability distribution.


Image credit: Sentis, G. et al./UAB

This challenge is similar to how a classic computer perceives the origin of different sounds captures by a microphone placed on the street. The computer can discern patterns, conversations, traffic, for instance.

However, unlike soundwaves, identifying patterns in quantum data is much more complex.

Researchers were able to compare the performances of classical and quantum protocols. By far, the new protocol outperforms classical strategies, especially for large dimensional data.

This proposal sets a solid theoretical framework on the possibilities in the field of automated classification and distribution of quantum information. The study was published in the Physical Review journal on November 8, 2019.


"Unsupervised Classification of Quantum Data" – Sentis, G. et al – Physical Review X – DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.9.041029


We introduce the problem of unsupervised classification of quantum data, namely, of systems whose quantum states are unknown. We derive the optimal single-shot protocol for the binary case, where the states in a disordered input array are of two types. Our protocol is universal and able to automatically sort the input under minimal assumptions, yet partially preserves information contained in the states. We quantify analytically its performance for an arbitrary size and dimension of the data. We contrast it with the performance of its classical counterpart, which clusters data that have been sampled from two unknown probability distributions. We find that the quantum protocol fully exploits the dimensionality of the quantum data to achieve a much higher performance, provided the data are at least three dimensional. For the sake of comparison, we discuss the optimal protocol when the classical and quantum states are known.

Featured image credit: @sebdeck/FreePik

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  1. Greetings!…
    In Matthew Chapter 5 we read:…
    37) But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. [NKJV]
    Simply put, can it be said that a “probabilistic state” is a “yes” or “no” in comparison to the 1s and 0s of conventional binary-based computers?… indeed, can the “output” of the computer herein hoped for, even be categorized as ANALOGL (not to be confused with analogal, analog or analogue… i.e., a computer based upon the utilization of natural processes, in their entirety!)? For, if the system herein hoped for is based upon an arbitrary human-determined abstraction and extrapolation of real world physical and/ or energetic events, then it is not even ANALOGL (e.g., such as the utilization of a radio signal)… let alone, DIGITAL, and based upon a “yes” and a “no”!
    To conclude, REGARDLESS of the “uncertainty” inhere within Quantum Mechanical systems… based merely on our human inability to address the position and momentum of such complex physical and energetic systems (e.g., alien civilizations might already have overcome what we have come to call, the “Uncertainty Principal”… and so and thus, have no need to guess at, or “probabilistically assess” what MIGHT BE the position and momentum of any number of real world events!)!… to base our “merky calculations” on a self-imposed “mathematical handicap”/ “probabilistic handicap” because WE (HUMANS!) haven’t been able to get– can’t get!– our “CERTAINTY ACT” together, is to render Physics as an INEXACT SCIENCE (based on “less than objective” “merky calculations”!), and to compromise Science, and Mathematics, in the process!
    The answer to this dilemma– I suggest– will come from Mathematics (that/ which, has– invariably– been the saving grace for Physics!), and a REFUSAL within Physics to give up on the search for EXACTITUDE in our hunt for the CORRECT ANSWER (and not just a “probabilistic” one!)! And if our opening premise… and make no mistake, a premise is at the root of our “probabilistic conjecture (and based– NO DOUBT!– on Physics’ present inability to see the ENTIRE QUANTUM FOREST for the IMMEDIATE QUANTUM TREES!)”!… is that we must “handicap” an EXACT OUTCOME, then let us not expect PERFECTION!
    Here’s a suggestion… and a HINT!… if one desires a 100% YES or NO regarding a matter of SCIENCE, then your SET(S) have to cover A-L-L the bases! And so and thus, if your calculations be based upon F-I-N-I-T-E P-A-R-A-M-E-T-E-R-S, then expect F-I-N-I-T-E R-E-S-U-L-T-S! And although this got Georg Cantor into some Psychological and emotional turmoil… and because, he had very few to bounce his notions off of!… his premise of addressing the, “infinite set of sets”, is the solution for those caught within the morass of “FINITE UNCERTAINTY”! For, if our “CERTAINTY” D-E-M-A-N-D-S that we entertain I-N-F-I-N-I-T-E P-A-R-A-M-E-T-E-R-S rather FINITE ones, then we would be best stepping outside our “FINITE COMFORT ZONE”, and going where no Mathematics has gone before! Ineed, and in fact, we would be better off leaving our FINITE WORLD altogether, and pursuing the INFINITE, henceforth!
    Please!… no emails!

  2. That is called garbage research, inspired by the unrealistic dream of Stephanie Wehner. Technology products can only be based on physics facts, not on mathematical probability theory. We have no scientific invention based on the mathematical fantasy of quantum mechanics and never will. I have been saying for the last 23 years that devices based on the notion of quantum mechanics and a nuclear reactor based on thermonuclear fusion will be realized when there will be a cold day in hell. In physical reality, the fastest electronic devices can only be made based on the process of ultrafast superconductivity. Ultrafast superconductivity is a real physical process that takes place in certain materials at higher temperatures than conventional superconductivity that takes place at a much lower temperature. Research in this field has just started, and in the future, the sky’s the limit for the speed of electronic devices based on ultrafast superconductivity.

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