One Additional Qubit is Enough: Encoded Embeddings for Boolean Components in Quantum Circuits

Alwin Zulehner, Philipp Niemann, Rolf Drechsler, Robert Wille

Research on quantum computing has recently gained significant momentum since first physical devices became available. Many quantum algorithms make use of so-called oracles that implement Boolean functions and are queried with highly superposed input states in order to evaluate the implemented Boolean function for many different input patterns in parallel. To simplify or enable a realization of these oracles in quantum logic in the first place, the Boolean reversible functions to be realized usually need to be broken down into several non-reversible sub-functions. However, since quantum logic is inherently reversible, these sub-functions have to be realized in a reversible fashion by adding further qubits in order to make the output patterns distinguishable (a process that is also known as embedding). This usually results in a significant increase of the qubits required in total. In this work, we show how this overhead can be significantly reduced by utilizing coding. More precisely, we prove that one additional qubit is always enough to embed any non-reversible function into a reversible one by using a variable-length encoding of the output patterns. Moreover, we characterize those functions that do not require an additional qubit at all. The made observations show that coding often allows one to undercut the usually considered minimum of additional qubits in sub-functions of oracles by far.

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