QWIRE Practice: Formal Verification of Quantum Circuits in Coq

Robert Rand, Jennifer Paykin, Steve Zdancewic

We describe an embedding of the QWIRE quantum circuit language in the Coq proof assistant. This allows programmers to write quantum circuits using high-level abstractions and to prove properties of those circuits using Coq's theorem proving features. The implementation uses higher-order abstract syntax to represent variable binding and provides a type-checking algorithm for linear wire types, ensuring that quantum circuits are well-formed. We formalize a denotational semantics that interprets QWIRE circuits as superoperators on density matrices, and prove the correctness of some simple quantum programs.

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