Quantum Vision Transformers

El Amine Cherrat, Iordanis Kerenidis, Natansh Mathur, Jonas Landman, Martin Strahm, Yun Yvonna Li

We design and analyse quantum transformers, extending the state-of-the-art classical transformer neural network architectures known to be very performant in natural language processing and image analysis. Building upon the previous work of parametrised quantum circuits for data loading and orthogonal neural layers, we introduce three quantum attention mechanisms, including a quantum transformer based on compound matrices. These quantum architectures can be built using shallow quantum circuits and can provide qualitatively different classification models. We performed extensive simulations of the quantum transformers on standard medical image datasets that showed competitive, and at times better, performance compared with the best classical transformers and other classical benchmarks. The computational complexity of our quantum attention layer proves to be advantageous compared with the classical algorithm with respect to the size of the classified images. Our quantum architectures have thousands of parameters compared with the best classical methods with millions of parameters. Finally, we have implemented our quantum transformers on superconducting quantum computers and obtained encouraging results for up to six qubit experiments.

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