The Quantum Abstract Machine

TitleThe Quantum Abstract Machine
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsLi, L, Chang, L, Cleaveland, R, Zhu, M, Wu, X
Date Published2/21/2024

This paper develops a model of quantum behavior that is intended to support the abstract yet accurate design and functional verification of quantum communication protocols. The work is motivated by the need for conceptual tools for the development of quantum-communication systems that are usable by non-specialists in quantum physics while also correctly capturing at a useful abstraction the underlying quantum phenomena. Our approach involves defining a quantum abstract machine (QAM) whose operations correspond to well-known quantum circuits; these operations, however, are given direct abstract semantics in a style similar to that of Berry's and Boudol's Chemical Abstract Machine. This paper defines the QAM's semantics and shows via examples how it may be used to model and reason about existing quantum communication protocols.