Experimental Quantum Generative Adversarial Networks for Image Generation

He-Liang Huang, Yuxuan Du, Ming Gong, Youwei Zhao, Yulin Wu, Chaoyue Wang, Shaowei Li, Futian Liang, Jin Lin, Yu Xu, Rui Yang, Tongliang Liu, Min-Hsiu Hsieh, Hui Deng, Hao Rong, Cheng-Zhi Peng, Chao-Yang Lu, Yu-Ao Chen, Dacheng Tao, Xiaobo Zhu, and Jian-Wei Pan
Phys. Rev. Applied 16, 024051 [arXiv]


Quantum machine learning is expected to be one of the first practical applications of near-term quantum devices. Pioneer theoretical works suggest that quantum generative adversarial networks (GANs) may exhibit a potential exponential advantage over classical GANs, thus attracting widespread attention. However, it remains elusive whether quantum GANs implemented on near-term quantum devices can actually solve real-world learning tasks. Here, we devise a flexible quantum GAN scheme to narrow this knowledge gap. In principle, this scheme has the ability to complete image generation with high-dimensional features and could harness quantum superposition to train multiple examples in parallel. We experimentally achieve the learning and generating of real-world handwritten digit images on a superconducting quantum processor. Moreover, we utilize a gray-scale bar dataset to exhibit competitive performance between quantum GANs and the classical GANs based on multilayer perceptron and convolutional neural network architectures, respectively, benchmarked by the Fréchet distance score. Our work provides guidance for developing advanced quantum generative models on near-term quantum devices and opens up an avenue for exploring quantum advantages in various GAN-related learning tasks.