Repository logo

Hybrid genetic optimisation for quantum feature map design.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Good feature maps are crucial for machine learning kernel methods for effective mapping of non-linearly separable input data into a higher dimension feature space, thus allowing the data to be linearly separable in feature space. Recent works have proposed automating the task of quantum feature map circuit design with methods such as variational ansatz parameter optimization and genetic algorithms. A problem commonly faced by genetic algorithm methods is the high cost of computing the genetic cost function. To mitigate this, this work investigates the suitability of two metrics as alternatives to test set classification accuracy. Accuracy has been applied successfully as a genetic algorithm cost function for quantum feature map design in previous work. The first metric is kernel-target alignment, which has previously been used as a training metric in quantum feature map design by variational ansatz training. Kernel-target alignment is a faster metric to evaluate than test set accuracy and does not require any data points to be reserved from the training set for its evaluation. The second metric is an estimation of kernel-target alignment which further accelerates the genetic fitness evaluation by an adjustable constant factor. The second aim of this work is to address the issue of the limited gate parameter choice available to the genetic algorithm. This is done by training the parameters of the quantum feature map circuits output in the final generation of the genetic algorithm using COBYLA to improve either kernel-target alignment or root mean squared error. This hybrid approach is intended to complement the genetic algorithm structure optimization approach by improving the feature maps without increasing their size. Eight new approaches are compared to the accuracy optimization approach across nine varied binary classification problems from the UCI machine learning repository, demonstrating that kernel-target alignment and its approximation produce feature map circuits enabling comparable accuracy to the original approach, with larger margins on training data that improve further with variational training.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.