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Exact simulation with Qiskit SDK primitives

The reference primitives in the Qiskit SDK perform local statevector simulations. These simulations do not support modeling device noise, but are useful for quickly prototyping algorithms before looking into more advanced simulation techniques (using Qiskit Aer) or running on real devices (Qiskit Runtime primitives).

The Estimator primitive can compute expectation values of circuits, and the Sampler primitive can sample from output distributions of circuits.

The following sections show how to use the reference primitives to run your workflow locally.


Use the reference Estimator

There are two reference implementations of Estimator in qiskit.primitives that run on a local statevector simulators: the StatevectorEstimator class and the Estimator class. The StatevectorEstimator implements the new Estimator V2 interface introduced in the Qiskit SDK 1.0, and offers additional input vectorization features in comparison with the Estimator class, which implements the legacy Estimator V1 interface. (For more information, see the V2 primitives migration guide.) Both can take circuits, observables, and parameters as inputs and return the locally computed expectation values.

The following code prepares the inputs that will be used in the examples that follow. The expected input type for the observables is qiskit.quantum_info.SparsePauliOp. Note that the circuit in the example is parametrized, but you can also run the Estimator on non-parametrized circuits.

Note

Any circuit passed to an Estimator must not include any measurements.

from qiskit import QuantumCircuit
from qiskit.circuit import Parameter
 
# circuit for which you want to obtain the expected value
qc = QuantumCircuit(2)
qc.ry(Parameter('theta'), 0)
qc.h(0)
qc.cx(0,1)
qc.draw("mpl", style="iqp")
Initial QuantumCircuit
Initial QuantumCircuit
from qiskit.quantum_info import SparsePauliOp
import numpy as np
 
# observable(s) whose expected values you want to compute
from qiskit.quantum_info import SparsePauliOp
observable = SparsePauliOp(["II", "XX", "YY", "ZZ"], coeffs=[1, 1, -1, 1])
 
# value(s) for the circuit parameter(s)
parameter_values = [[0], [np.pi/6], [np.pi/2]]
Transpile to ISA circuits and observables

The Qiskit Runtime primitives workflow requires circuits and observables to be transformed to only use instructions supported by the system (referred to as instruction set architecture (ISA) circuits and observables). The reference primitives still accept abstract instructions, as they rely on local statevector simulations, but transpiling the circuit might still be beneficial in terms of circuit optimization.

# Generate a pass manager without providing a backend
from qiskit.transpiler.preset_passmanagers import generate_preset_pass_manager
 
pm = generate_preset_pass_manager(optimization_level=1)
isa_circuit = pm.run(qc)
isa_observable = observable.apply_layout(isa_circuit.layout)

Initialize Estimator

To use the Estimator V2 implementation, follow the instructions to instantiate a qiskit.primitives.StatevectorEstimator. If you want to maintain your pre-existing workflow using an Estimator V1 implementation, you can also use the qiskit.primitives.Estimator class.

Instantiate a qiskit.primitives.StatevectorEstimator.

from qiskit.primitives import StatevectorEstimator
estimator = StatevectorEstimator()

Run and get results

This example only uses one circuit (of type QuantumCircuit) and one observable.

Run the estimation by calling the StatevectorEstimator.run method, which returns an instance of a PrimitiveJob object. You can get the results from the job (as a qiskit.primitives.PrimitiveResult object) with the qiskit.primitives.PrimitiveJob.result method.

job = estimator.run([(isa_circuit, isa_observable, parameter_values)])
result = job.result()
print(f" > Result class: {type(result)}")
 > Result class: <class 'qiskit.primitives.containers.primitive_result.PrimitiveResult'>

Get the expected value from the result

The primitives V2 result outputs an array of PubResults, where each item of the array is a PubResult object that contains in its data the array of evaluations corresponding to every circuit-observable combination in the PUB. To retrieve the expectation values and metadata for the first (and in this case, only) circuit evaluation, we must access the evaluation data for PUB 0:

print(f" > Expectation value: {result[0].data.evs}")
print(f" > Metadata: {result[0].metadata}")
 > Expectation value: [4.         3.73205081 2.        ]
 > Metadata: {'precision': 0.0}

Set Estimator run options

By default, the reference Estimator performs an exact statevector calculation based on the quantum_info.Statevector class. However, this can be modified to introduce the effect of the sampling overhead (also known as "shot noise").

With the introduction of the new V2 interface, the sampling overhead in the Estimator is now more concretely defined. The new interface accepts a precision argument that expresses the error bars that the primitive implementation should target for expectation values estimates, instead of the number of shots used in the V1 interface.

The sampling overhead is now called precision, and is defined exclusively at the .run() method level. This allows for a more finely-grained tuning of the option all the way to the PUB level.

This example assumes you have defined two circuits, each with its own array of observables.

# Estimate expectation values for two PUBs, both with 0.05 precision.
estimator.run([(isa_circuit1, isa_obs_array1), (isa_circuit2, isa_obs_array_2)], precision=0.05)

For a full example, see the Primitives examples page.


Use the reference Sampler

Similar to the Estimator, there are two reference implementations of Sampler in qiskit.primitives: the StatevectorSampler class and the Sampler class. The StatevectorSampler implements the new Estimator V2 interface introduced in Qiskit 1.0, and offers additional input vectorization features in comparison with the Sampler class, which implements the legacy Sampler V1 interface. (For more information, see the V2 primitives migration guide.) Both can take circuits and parameters as inputs and return the results from sampling from the output probability distributions, but they are expressed in different terms:

  • The new StatevectorSampler (V2) output can be expressed as an array of sampled values (bitstring) or "counts" for each bitstring present in the output distribution.
  • The Sampler (V1) output is always expressed as a quasi-probability distribution of output states.

The following code prepares the inputs used in the examples that follow. Note that these examples run a single parametrized circuit, but you can also run the Sampler on non-parametrized circuits.

from qiskit import QuantumCircuit
 
qc = QuantumCircuit(2)
qc.h(0)
qc.cx(0,1)
qc.measure_all()
qc.draw("mpl", style="iqp")
Initial QuantumCircuit
Initial QuantumCircuit
Note

Any quantum circuit passed to a Sampler must include measurements.

Transpile to ISA circuits and observables

The Qiskit Runtime primitives workflow requires circuits to be transformed to only use instructions supported by the system (referred to as instruction set architecture (ISA) circuits). The reference primitives still accept abstract instructions, as they rely on local statevector simulations, but transpiling the circuit might still be beneficial in terms of circuit optimization.

# Generate a pass manager without providing a backend
from qiskit.transpiler.preset_passmanagers import generate_preset_pass_manager
 
pm = generate_preset_pass_manager(optimization_level=1)
isa_circuit = pm.run(qc)
isa_observable = observable.apply_layout(isa_circuit.layout)

Initialize Sampler

To use the Sampler V2 implementation, follow the instructions to instantiate a qiskit.primitives.StatevectorSampler. If you want to maintain your pre-existing workflow using a Sampler V1 implementation, you can also use the qiskit.primitives.Sampler class.

from qiskit.primitives import StatevectorSampler
 
sampler = StatevectorSampler()

Run and get results

# execute 1 circuit with Sampler V2
job = sampler.run([isa_circuit]) 
pub_result = job.result()[0]
print(f" > Result class: {type(pub_result)}")
> Result class: <class 'qiskit.primitives.containers.pub_result.PubResult'>

V2 primitives accept multiple PUBs as inputs, and each PUB gets its own result. Therefore, you can run different circuits with various parameter/observable combinations, and retrieve the PUB results:

from qiskit.transpiler.preset_passmanagers import generate_preset_pass_manager
 
# create two circuits
circuit1 = qc.copy()
circuit2 = qc.copy()
 
# transpile circuits 
pm = generate_preset_pass_manager(optimization_level=1)
isa_circuit1 = pm.run(circuit1)
isa_circuit2 = pm.run(circuit2)
# execute 2 circuits using Sampler V2
job = sampler.run([(isa_circuit1), (isa_circuit2)])
pub_result_1 = job.result()[0]
pub_result_2 = job.result()[1]
print(f" > Result class: {type(pub_result)}")
> Result class: <class 'qiskit.primitives.containers.pub_result.PubResult'>

Get the probability distribution or measurement outcome

As mentioned above, the result retrieval step is different between V1 and V2 interfaces.

The V1 sampler gives access to quasi-probability distributions.

The V2 sampler returns measurement outcome samples in the form of bitstrings or counts. The bitstrings show the measurement outcomes, preserving the shot order in which they were measured. The V2 sampler result objects organize data in terms of their input circuits' classical register names, for compatibility with dynamic circuits.

The name of the classical register defaults to "meas". This name will be used later to access the measurement bitstrings.
# Define quantum circuit with 2 qubits
circuit = QuantumCircuit(2)
circuit.h(0)
circuit.cx(0, 1)
circuit.measure_all()
circuit.draw()
        ┌───┐      ░ ┌─┐
   q_0: ┤ H ├──■───░─┤M├───
        └───┘┌─┴─┐ ░ └╥┘┌─┐
   q_1: ─────┤ X ├─░──╫─┤M├
             └───┘ ░  ║ └╥┘
meas: 2/══════════════╩══╩═
                      0  1
  # Transpile circuit
pm = generate_preset_pass_manager(optimization_level=1)
isa_circuit = pm.run(circuit)
# Run using V2 sampler
result = sampler.run([circuit]).result()
# Access result data for PUB 0
data_pub = result[0].data
# Access bitstring for the classical register "meas"
bitstrings = data_pub.meas.get_bitstrings()
print(f"The number of bitstrings is: {len(bitstrings)}")
# Get counts for the classical register "meas"
counts = data_pub.meas.get_counts()
print(f"The counts are: {counts}")
The number of bitstrings is: 1024
The counts are: {'11': 503, '00': 521}

Change run options

By default, the reference Sampler performs an exact statevector calculation based on the quantum_info.Statevector class. However, this can be modified to introduce the effect of the sampling overhead (also known as "shot noise").

With the introduction of the new V2 interface, the sampling overhead in the Sampler is now more precisely defined. The new interface accepts a shots argument that can be defined at the "PUB level".

This example assumes you have defined two circuits.

# Sample two circuits at 128 shots each.
sampler.run([isa_circuit1, isa_circuit2], shots=128)
# Sample two circuits at different amounts of shots. The "None"s are necessary
# as placeholders
# for the lack of parameter values in this example.
sampler.run([(isa_circuit1, None, 123), (isa_circuit2, None, 456)])

For a full example, see the Primitives examples page.


Next steps

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