Data re-uploading with a single qudit

Quantum two-level systems, i.e. qubits, form the basis for most quantum machine learning approaches that have been proposed throughout the years. However, in some cases, higher dimensional quantum systems may prove to be advantageous. Here, we explore the capabilities of multi-level quantum systems, so-called qudits, for their use in a quantum machine learning context. We formulate classification and regression problems with the data re-uploading approach and demonstrate that a quantum circuit operating on a single qudit is able to successfully learn highly non-linear decision boundaries of classification problems such as the MNIST digit recognition problem. We demonstrate that the performance strongly depends on the relation between the qudit states representing the labels and the structure of labels in the training data set. Such a bias can lead to substantial performance improvement over qubit-based circuits in cases where the labels and qudit states are well-aligned. Furthermore, we elucidate the influence of the choice of the elementary operators and show that the non-linear squeezing operator is necessary to achieve good performances. We also show that there exists a trade-off for qudit systems between the number of circuit-generating operators in each processing layer and the total number of layers needed to achieve a given accuracy. Finally, we compare classification results from numerically exact simulations and their equivalent implementation on actual IBM quantum hardware. The findings of our work support the notion that qudit-based algorithms exhibit attractive traits and constitute a promising route to increasing the computational capabilities of quantum machine learning approaches.