Quantum Natural Proof: A New Perspective of Hybrid Quantum-Classical Program Verification

TitleQuantum Natural Proof: A New Perspective of Hybrid Quantum-Classical Program Verification
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsLi, L, Zhu, M, Lee, Y, Chang, L, Wu, X
Date Published11/11/2022
KeywordsFOS: Computer and information sciences, FOS: Physical sciences, Programming Languages (cs.PL), Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Many quantum programs are assured by formal verification, but such verification is usually laborious and time-consuming. This paper proposes quantum natural proof (QNP), an automated proof system for verifying hybrid quantum-classical algorithms. Natural proofs are a subclass of proofs that are amenable to completely automated reasoning, provide sound but incomplete procedures, and capture common reasoning tactics in program verification. The core of QNP is a type-guided quantum proof system, named Qafny, which views quantum operations as some classical array operations that can be modeled as proof rules in a classical separation logic framework, suitable for automated reasoning. We proved the soundness and completeness of the Qafny proof system as well as the soundness of the proof system compilation from Qafny to Dafny. By using the QNP implementation in Dafny, automated verification can be efficiently perform for many hybrid quantum-classical algorithms, including GHZ, Shor's, Grover's, and quantum walk algorithms, which saves a great amount of human efforts. In addition, quantum programs written in Qafny can be compiled to quantum circuits so that every verified quantum program can be run on a quantum machine.