I wish to be able to model a quantum computer with all the noise sources of an IBM quantum computer. For a given set of T1, T2, readout_errors, U2_errors and CNOT errors I want to know how to include all these errors. I can run a quantum circuit using the expected noise from a particular computer through the following code

backend = provider.get_backend('ibmqx2')
    noise_model = NoiseModel.from_backend(backend)
# Get coupling map from backend
    coupling_map = backend.configuration().coupling_map
# Get basis gates from noise model
    basis_gates = noise_model.basis_gates

This runs my code with the noise from ibmqx2. I then try to implement each noise source. For example if the single qubit U2 error rate is er1, I implement this as follows:

 error_1 = noise.depolarizing_error(er1, 1)
noise_model.add_quantum_error(error_1, ['u1', 'u2', 'u3','h'],[0])

I implement the two qubit and readout errors in the same way. Is this correct? Also how do I implement the errors associated with the T1 and T2 values? I am asking because my current model when I add each noise source myself does not match when I simply import the noise model. I wish to reconcile this.


2 Answers 2


If you are intending to add noise to the specific qubit (qubit [0] in this case) then this seems to be correct. At least from looking at this document: Building Noise Models

  • $\begingroup$ Yes but the results from this model don't match the results from when I directly import the noise model. I suspect this has to do with the times T1 and T2 but I am not sure how $\endgroup$
    – LOC
    Oct 18, 2020 at 5:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Make sure to note that the device noise model is not fixed either. The device is being calibrated a couple of times a day (I think) and the noise_model will change based on the calibration results. $\endgroup$
    – KAJ226
    Oct 18, 2020 at 6:37

To build a noise model from scratch and compare with the backend noise model, you can do

from qiskit import *
from qiskit.providers.aer.noise import NoiseModel
from qiskit.providers.aer.noise.device.models import (basic_device_readout_errors,

provider = IBMQ.get_provider(hub='ibm-q')
backend = provider.get_backend('ibmq_bogota')
properties = backend.properties()
config = backend.configuration()
backend_noise_model = NoiseModel.from_backend(backend)

my_noise_model = NoiseModel(basis_gates=config.basis_gates)
readout_errors = basic_device_readout_errors(properties)
for qubits, error in basic_device_readout_errors(properties):
    my_noise_model.add_readout_error(error, qubits, warnings=warnings)
gate_errors = basic_device_gate_errors(properties)
for name, qubits, error in gate_errors:
    my_noise_model.add_quantum_error(error, name, qubits)

print(backend_noise_model == my_noise_model)

This should print out True. Here the two functions basic_device_readout_errors and basic_device_gate_errors build the error channels from the device parameters, such as $T_1$, $T_2$, gate lengths, gate errors, readout errors etc.

Building the readout error channels is straightforward, which just includes probabilities of reading out 1 when preparing 0 and vice versa. Building the gate error channels is quite involved. The basic idea is to approximate the gate with a depolarizing channel, which consists of an auxiliary depolarizing channel combined with an amplitude phase damping channel. The amplitude phase damping channel on each qubit is

$$ \mathcal{E}_{\text{amp-phase}}(\rho) = \begin{pmatrix} \rho_{00} + (1 - e^{-T_{\text{gate}}/T_1})\rho_{01} & e^{-T_{\text{gate}}/T_2}\rho_{01}\\ e^{-T_{\text{gate}}/T_2}\rho_{10} & e^{-T_{\text{gate}}/T_1}\rho_{11} \end{pmatrix}. $$

This is where the $T_1$ and $T_2$ come in. The depolarizing probability $p$ of the auxiliary depolarizing channel with depolarizing probability $p$ is found by solving the equation

$$ F_{\text{gate}} = (1-p) F_{\text{amp-phase}} + \frac{p}{d} $$

where $F_{\text{amp-phase}}$ is the average fidelity of the amplitude phase damping channel, $F_{\text{gate}}$ is the fidelity of the gate from randomized benchmarking and $d$ is the dimension of the Hilbert space. For more details I would recommend taking a look at the source code.


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