Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Modern computers can experience a variety of transient errors due to the surrounding environment, known as soft faults. Although the frequency of these faults is low enough to not be noticeable on personal computers, they become a considerable concern during large-scale distributed computations or systems in more vulnerable environments like satellites. These faults occur as a bit flip of some value in a register, operation, or memory during execution. They surface as either program crashes, hangs, or silent data corruption (SDC), each of which can waste time, money, and resources. Hardware methods, such as shielding or error correcting memory (ECM), exist, though they can be difficult to implement, expensive, and may be limited to only protecting against errors in specific locations. Researchers have been exploring software detection and correction methods as an alternative, commonly trading either overhead in execution time or memory usage to protect against faults.

Quantum computers, a relatively recent advancement in computing technology, experience similar errors on a much more severe scale. The errors are more frequent, costly, and difficult to detect and correct. Error correction algorithms like Shor’s code promise to completely remove errors, but they cannot be implemented on current noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) systems due to the low number of available qubits. Until the physical systems become large enough to support error correction, researchers instead have been studying other methods to reduce and compensate for errors.

In this work, we present two methods for improving the resilience of classical processes, both single- and multi-threaded. We then introduce quantum computing and compare the nature of errors and correction methods to previous classical methods. We further discuss two designs for improving compilation of quantum circuits. One method, focused on quantum neural networks (QNNs), takes advantage of partial compilation to avoid recompiling the entire circuit each time. The other method is a new approach to compiling quantum circuits using graph neural networks (GNNs) to improve the resilience of quantum circuits and increase fidelity. By using GNNs with reinforcement learning, we can train a compiler to provide improved qubit allocation that improves the success rate of quantum circuits.

Date

11-3-2022

Committee Chair

Lu Peng

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