Efficient Circuits for Quantum Walks
We present an efficient general method for realizing a quantum walk operator corresponding to an arbitrary sparse classical random walk. Our approach is based on Grover and Rudolph's method for preparing coherent versions of efficiently integrable probability distributions. This method is intended for use in quantum walk algorithms with polynomial speedups, whose complexity is usually measured in terms of how many times we have to apply a step of a quantum walk, compared to the number of necessary classical Markov chain steps. We consider a finer notion of complexity including the number of elementary gates it takes to implement each step of the quantum walk with some desired accuracy. The difference in complexity for various implementation approaches is that our method scales linearly in the sparsity parameter and poly-logarithmically with the inverse of the desired precision. The best previously known general methods either scale quadratically in the sparsity parameter, or polynomially in the inverse precision. Our approach is especially relevant for implementing quantum walks corresponding to classical random walks like those used in the classical algorithms for approximating permanents and sampling from binary contingency tables. In those algorithms, the sparsity parameter grows with the problem size, while maintaining high precision is required.