Variational Monte Carlo (VMC) methods are used to sample classically from distributions corresponding to quantum states which have an efficient classical description. VMC methods are based on performing a number of steps of a Markov chain starting with samples from a simple initial distribution. In this talk I will discuss recent work where we propose replacing this initial distribution with samples produced using a quantum computer, for example using the variational quantum eigensolver (VQE).
We show that, based on the use of initial distributions generated by numerical simulations and by experiments on quantum hardware, convergence to the target distribution can be accelerated compared with classical samples; the energy can be reduced compared with the energy of the state produced by VQE; and VQE states produced by small quantum computers can be used to accelerate large instances of VMC. Quantum-enhanced VMC makes minimal requirements of the quantum computer and offers the prospect of accelerating classical methods using noisy samples from near-term quantum computers which are not yet able to accurately represent ground states of complex quantum systems.
This talk is based on the paper arXiv:2307.07719, which is joint work with Stasja Stanisic.