Proving Quantum Programs Correct

TitleProving Quantum Programs Correct
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHietala, K, Rand, R, Hung, S-H, Li, L, Hicks, M
JournalSchloss Dagstuhl
Date Published7/13/2021

As quantum computing steadily progresses from theory to practice, programmers are faced with a common problem: How can they be sure that their code does what they intend it to do? This paper presents encouraging results in the application of mechanized proof to the domain of quantum programming in the context of the SQIR development. It verifies the correctness of a range of a quantum algorithms including Simon's algorithm, Grover's algorithm, and quantum phase estimation, a key component of Shor's algorithm. In doing so, it aims to highlight both the successes and challenges of formal verification in the quantum context and motivate the theorem proving community to target quantum computing as an application domain.