Cooperative Classical and Quantum Communications Systems

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Electronics and Computer Science

Abstract

According to Moore's law, the number of transistors on a micro-chip doubles every two years. Hence, the transistor size is expected to approach atomic scale in the near future due to our quest for miniaturization and more processing power. However, atomic level behaviour is governed by the laws of quantum physics, which are significantly different from those of classical physics. More explicitly, the inherent parallelism associated with quantum entities allows a quantum computer to carry out operations in parallel, unlike conventional computers. More significantly, quantum computers are capable of solving challenging optimization problems in a fraction of the time required by a conventional computer. However, the major impediment in the practical realization of quantum computers is the sensitivity of the quantum states, which collapse when they interact with their environment. Hence, powerful Quantum Error Correction (QEC) codes are needed for protecting the fragile quantum states from undesired influences and for facilitating the robust implementation of quantum computers. The inherent parallel processing capability of quantum computers will also be exploited to dramatically reduce the detection complexity in future generation communications systems.

In this work, we aim for jointly designing and ameliorating classical and quantum algorithms to support each other in creating powerful communications systems. More explicitly, the inherent parallelism of quantum computing will be exploited for mitigating the high complexity of classical detectors. Then, near-capacity QEC codes will be designed by appropriately adapting algorithms and design techniques used in classical Forward Error Correction (FEC) codes. Finally, cooperative communications involving both the classical and quantum domains will be conceived. The implementation of a quantum computer purely based on quantum-domain hardware and software is still an open challenge. However, a classical computer employing some quantum chips for achieving efficient parallel detection/processing may be expected to be implemented soon. This project is expected to produce a 'quantum-leap' towards the next-generation Internet, involving both classical and quantum information processing, for providing reliable and secure communications networks as well as affordable detection complexity.

Planned Impact

Telecommunications systems have evolved from first generation (1G) narrowband communications to fourth generation (4G) broadband communications that can support ubiquitous multimedia transmissions. The advances in telecommunications have transformed all aspects of our lives and the next major milestone in human history would be the realisation of quantum systems. This is a wide open field and the proposed research would produce further scientific advances in both classical and quantum systems in order to yield further economical and societal benefits for the UK. More specifically, 50 billion devices are anticipated to be connected to broadband connections by 2020, according to the 'Future Internet Report' by the 'UK Future Internet Strategy Group'. The proposed quantum-aided classical detector is the ideal technology for processing this huge data traffic. The same report also identified that the future Internet conveying machine/man-to-machine/man (M2M) communications is capable of providing £50-£100 Billion/year of realisable benefits to the UK. The proposed cooperative schemes would contribute further significant economic benefits to the UK and also globally by stimulating the device-design community due to its efficient and fast processing capability. Note that an efficient detector would allow the transmitters to reduce their transmit power. Hence, the battery recharge-time of each transmitter can be extended. This is ideal for wireless sensor networks (WSNs) used for example in environmental monitoring. Light-weight sensor node implants could also be supported for monitoring the human body, hence providing a better health care.

Furthermore, the proposed joint classical and quantum encoded scheme could offer secure transmission due to the transmission of qubits across quantum channels (with the aid of quantum superdense coding) as well as near-capacity performance due to the employment of powerful iterative joint classical-and-quantum decoding. Secure and robt communications are essential for cyber-security and for countering terrorism. Hence, the individuals' quality of life may be further enhanced and government policies may be affected by our findings. The research would make a substantial impact on the wider research community, as detailed in the Academic Beneficiaries section. This would help the UK to play a leading role in these transformative research areas. It would also help the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton to maintain its world-class research reputation, as well as further developing the expertise and project leadership skills of the Principal Investigator (PI), who undertakes this role for the first time in an EPSRC project. The experience obtained under this EPSRC project would enable the PI to undertake more ambitious projects in the future, for making an even wider impact and contributions. Valuable networking opportunities would be provided for the PI, via academic visits to/from world-renowned research centres.

This research addresses key EPSRC priorities in the "Information and Communication Technologies" theme http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/ourportfolio/themes/ict and the "Quantum Optics and Information" research area http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/ourportfolio/researchareas/Pages/quantum.aspx. In particular, the topic on coding, transmission and detection is related to the "digital signal processing'' and "RF and microwave communications" research areas, which the EPSRC intends to grow. This research paves the way for collaborations between the classical and quantum research communities, which aligns with EPSRC's "working together" priority. Classical and quantum algorithms are also investigated in the context of hardware implementation of quantum devices, which is an example of working together between the 'hardware- and software-oriented areas'.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description 1. We have developed various Quantum error correction codes (QECCs), incuding Quantum LDPC codes and Quantum Turbo codes. QECCs are required for stabilizing and protecting fragile quantum bits against the undesired effects of quantum decoherence. Our QECCs are capable of approaching the Hashing bound (which can be referred to as the related Quantum channel capacity).

2. We have also developed quantum-assisted detection for multi-user wireless communications. Our scheme is capable of reducing the detection complexity by half, in the uplink transmission of a rank-deficient MC-IDMA system.

3. We have also developed quantum assisted routing optimization for wireless multihop networks. It was found that our quantum assisted routing optimization algorithm could achieve a significant complexity reduction compared to non-quantum assisted scheme.
Exploitation Route Our quantum error correction codes as well as quantum-assisted detection and routing optimization algorithms
could be implemented in a quantum chip, when it is available.

Our quantum error correction or stabilizer codes can be used to reduce the quantum coherence time required in a quantum hardware. Hence, it may help to expedite the availability of a quantum computer.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Security and Diplomacy

URL https://www.wireless.ecs.soton.ac.uk/research/themes/quantum
 
Description The project has substantially contributed to the IEEE industrial standardisation body P1913 spearheaded by Steven Bush of GEC. More particularly, Dr Babar, Dr Botsinis and Dr Alanis of the team has contributed to the conception of the so-called YANG Model. This work is still on-going at the time of writing and our hope is to provide further input in the future as and when it is appropriate.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Participation in the P1913 - Software-Defined Quantum Communication standard project
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL https://standards.ieee.org/develop/project/1913.html
 
Description Harnessing Quantum-Computing & Signal Processing in Wireless Communications 
Organisation Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We published several joint 4* papers, which contribute to the REF;
Collaborator Contribution Deriving closed-form equations for characterizing device-to-device communications and IoT
Impact mathematics, information theory, signal processing, computer science, telecommunications engineering
Start Year 2017
 
Description Joint research with UNSW 
Organisation University of New South Wales
Department School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My team contributed based on our expertise in Quantum communications.
Collaborator Contribution Our partner contributed in terms of their expertise in Quantum Key Distribution.
Impact Published a joint conference paper: DOI: 10.1109/SSPD.2017.8233263
Start Year 2017
 
Description CommNet2 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact CommNet² is an EPSRC funded network that aims to bring together the UK academic community engaged in ICT research in order to identify, discuss and address the major ICT challenges of the future. This website acts as the central hub of CommNet² and aims to provide information on the activities of its members to the ICT community at large as well as the media, industry and prospective students. Some key features of the website include events booking and calendar; user groups; and directories of members and their Institutions.
Registration, which is quick and straightforward, will enable you to participate fully in the network, post articles, publicise and organise events and share material with collaborators.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://www.commnet.ac.uk/
 
Description Emerging Technical Committee on Quantum Communications and Information Technology (QCIT-ETC) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Emerging Technical Committee on Quantum Communications and Information Technology (QCIT-ETC) promotes all types of communications theory and engineering to foster quantum technology.

Our field of interests start from the basic Radio Frequency Technology, addresses aspects of Control Instrumentation, Error Correction, Coding Theory, System Architecture, Simulation, Algorithms, and eventually Applications. The committee will connect people from Industry and Academia by supporting conferences, symposia, technical sessions, publications, etc., where information is exchanged within the scope of interest of the QCIT-ETC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL http://qcit.committees.comsoc.org/officers/
 
Description Special session on "Reliable and Secure Quantum Communications" at EUSIPCO 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Ng organised and chaired the special session on "Reliable and Secure Quantum Communications" at the 24th European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO'16) in August 2016.

http://www.eusipco2016.org/special-sessions/
Tuesday, August 30, 16:00 - 18:00
TueD01: Reliable and Secure Quantum Communications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.eusipco2016.org/special-sessions/
 
Description WS-04: Quantum Communications and Information Technology 2017 (QCIT 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Hanzo and Dr Ng co-organized the workshop on Quantum Communications and Information Technology (QCIT) at the IEEE GLOBECOM in December 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://globecom2017.ieee-globecom.org/workshop/ws-04-quantum-communications-and-information-technolo...
 
Description Workshop on Quantum Communications and Information Technology at GLOBECOM 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Hanzo and Dr Ng co-organized the workshop on Quantum Communications and Information Technology (QCIT) at the IEEE GLOBECOM in December 2015.

http://globecom2015.ieee-globecom.org/program/technical-program/workshops
TW-5: Quantum Communications and Information Technology
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://globecom2015.ieee-globecom.org/program/technical-program/workshops
 
Description Workshop on Quantum Communications and Information Technology at GLOBECOM 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Hanzo and Dr Ng co-organized the workshop on Quantum Communications and Information Technology (QCIT) at the IEEE GLOBECOM in December 2016.

http://globecom2016.ieee-globecom.org/program/workshops
Thursday, 8 December 2016 • 09:00 - 17:30
WS10: QCIT: Quantum Communications and Information Technology
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://globecom2016.ieee-globecom.org/program/workshops