Cliffords in constant depth

11 Nov 2019

Daniel Grier and Luke Schaeffer released a wonderful paper on arXiv recently. In it, they highlight some surprisingly stronger separations between QNC0, constant depth quantum circuits, and other classes of constant and logarithmic depth classical circuits. For background, Bravyi, et al.’s major result two years ago was a strict separation between QNC0 and NC0 by a problem called the “Hidden Linear Function problem.” But Grier and Schaeffer prove a stronger and surprising separation between QNC0 and NC1, logarithmic depth bounded fan-in classical circuits. And it was my first time seeing the use of Barrington’s Theorem, and it’s amazing just how general but powerful it is!

In it they point to a fairly old theorem in measurement-based quantum computation which I was even more surprised by. In short, it’s that any Clifford circuit can be implemented in constant depth by preparation of a constant degree grid state and constant depth MBQC. Clifford circuits are just so rich.

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