An Algebraic Language for Specifying Quantum Networks


Quantum networks connect quantum capable nodes in order to achieve capabilities that are impossible only using classical information. Their fundamental unit of communication is the Bell pair, which consists of two entangled quantum bits. Unfortunately, Bell pairs are fragile and difficult to transmit directly, necessitating a network of repeaters, along with software and hardware that can ensure the desired results. To this end, we developed BellKAT, a novel specification language for quantum networks based upon Kleene algebra. To cater to the specific needs of quantum networks, we designed an algebraic structure, called BellSKA, which we use as the basis of BellKAT’s denotational semantics. BellKAT’s constructs describe entanglement distribution rules that allow for modular specification. We give BellKAT a sound and complete equational theory, allowing us to verify network protocols. We provide a prototype tool to showcase the expressiveness of BellKAT and how to verify networks in practice.

ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI 2024)