Modelling Quantum Circuits with UML

Ricardo Pérez-Castillo, Luis Jiménez-Navajas, Mario Piattini

None of the quantum computing applications imagined will ever become a reality without quantum software. Quantum programmes have, to date, been coded with ad hoc techniques. Researchers in the field of quantum software engineering are, therefore, now demanding more systematic techniques and methods with which to produce software with sufficient quality. One of the challenges and lessons learned from classic software engineering is the need for high-level, abstract and technology-independent representations with which to design software before it is coded. This paper specifically addresses this challenge for quantum software design. Since UML is a well-proven modelling language that has been widely employed by industry for some time, we propose a UML extension for the representation of quantum algorithms. Our proposal comprises the definition of a UML profile based on various stereotypes that can be applied to the existing UML activity diagrams in order to represent quantum circuits. The advantage of this representation is that UML quantum circuits can be interrelated with other UML elements and diagrams, which will make it possible to represent various concerns and viewpoints of the so-called hybrid information systems. This will consequently enable classical and quantum aspects to be modelled together in integrated designs in a technological-agnostic manner that is already supported by a considerable number of existing software design tools.

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