A beginner question after watching few videos.

Say, var=a; var can be either of two values, a or b. Check what is the value of var, using Q#, QISKit or similar.

Any help/idea?


2 Answers 2


You can check for state equality with the SWAP test.

Quantum fingerprinting (Buhrman, Cleve, Watrous & de Wolf, 2001) seems to be the first paper to introduce the SWAP test.

The idea behind this test is:

  1. Encode the 2 quantum states using quantum error correction codes to "increase the difference between them".
  2. Test the 2 code words by using an ancilla register and the procedure below.
  3. Read the ancilla register. If it is $\left\vert 0 \right\rangle$ then the 2 states are probably equal. Else, they are probably different.

SWAP test

You can repeat the procedure multiple times to ensure that the 2 states are equal up to a given probability.

You can implement by yourself the test on QISKit:

from qiskit import ClassicalRegister, QuantumRegister, QuantumCircuit, execute
from qiskit import IBMQ, BasicAer

q_simulator = BasicAer.get_backend('qasm_simulator')

register_size = 2

qr_psi = QuantumRegister(register_size, 'psi')  #For state PSI
qr_phi = QuantumRegister(register_size, 'phi')  #For state PHI
qr_ancilla = QuantumRegister(1, 'ancilla')
cequal = ClassicalRegister(1, 'equal')

circuit = QuantumCircuit()


def cswap(circuit, ctrl, q1, q2) -> None:
    assert(len(q1) == len(q2), "The swapped register sizes should match")
    for i in range(len(q1)):
        # Controlled swap
        circuit.ccx(ctrl, q1[i], q2[i])
        circuit.ccx(ctrl, q2[i], q1[i])
        circuit.ccx(ctrl, q1[i], q2[i])

def equality_test(circuit, ancilla, q1, q2, classical_register) -> None:
    assert(len(q1) == len(q2), "The swapped register sizes should match")
    cswap(circuit, ancilla[0], q1, q2)
    circuit.measure(ancilla[0], classical_register[0])

## Initialisation
# We add Hadamard to all the registers - to create PSI
# We add Hadamard to all the registers - to create PHI
# Modify the initialisation of either PHI or PSI and check the results.

## SWAP test
equality_test(circuit, qr_ancilla, qr_psi, qr_phi, cequal)

res_qasm = execute([circuit], q_simulator, shots=1024).result()
counts = res_qasm.get_counts()


You can convince yourself that the method works with high probability by changing the initialisation step of the two registers and check the results when the 2 register match or don't match.


In Q# you use either the M or the Measure operations to measure a qubit.

Once you have the measurement of the Qubit, you can use things like if, for or other control flow statements to control your program execution based on the variable values.

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